A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken thread and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thoughts and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years, and years, and years…
It’s not easy creating something from
you always start with something,
The tools in your hands,
the piece of metal before you,
and the knowledge and creativity
possibilities with but a thought
at first strike.
The exquisite toll it takes
on your body.
As the sweat rolls,
the blood mingles
all poured into
Coming straight from
the heart and soul of you
But this cold forge
has not been stoked
No immense heat emits from the
concaves of the mortar and brick.
The bellows are silent.
The bins are still full of rough stocks of metal
To be struck
on the anvil
and for my spirit
to finally stir up from
by Philip Wardlow 2017
I’m trying to capture
a lit bit of magic.
Distill out the mundane,
filter out the impurities,
and infuse a little energy
into this tired body and brain.
You have always been that
catalyst, that additive, that chemical,
or heat to speed the reaction.
Give me just a dash of you and
I will change this lead to gold
or this chunk of coal
to a diamond that
sparkles like your
Your kiss may be the final
ingredient to the elixir of life
that I have long sought.
Oh how elusive that magic is
at being caught
and wrangled like
lightning in a bottle.
But I am an alchemist, and
with my books, my bottles, my studies
my mythos, my faith, and you…
I shall wrestle with the five mysteries of life;
air, earth, fire, water, and the
and condense their natures down into
a malleable creature from which
I can ride with you into the night.
by Philip Wardlow
Need some volunteer Sketch artists, to help provide some Original simple art work drawings to accompany my collection of stories in my book I will be launching in e-book and paperback form this year.
The only thing I can offer in compensation at this time is artwork credit of any art used in the book. Please let me know if you are intrigued in participating in this little self-publishing project of mine. Sketch required from you would be no bigger than about approx. 3″ x 3″ area appropriate for use in mediums like the Kindle, Nook, and Small Paperbacks.
See below, TEN plus Stories to Draw from for the Artwork Submission ..:) . Contact me via EMAIL at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU GUYS!
Flight through the Forest~ Marek is irreverent, a loner, a drunk more often than not, but most of all he knows how to fight and doesn’t mind bragging about his skills if you were to ask him about them. So when he finds himself in a dark forest of a jungle far from home on a mission for the king running for his very life, he wonders idly if he should retire from his warrior ways. If he survives that is.
Demon in the Details~ There is darkness in the world. At times it is blatant and unforgiving, at other times it’s subtle and veiled. Willie has been a party to that darkness; brought up in it, contributed to it even. Now he will run brush up against an aspect of a darkness never experienced and it may change him forever. But in what way?
The Summoning~ This fun little story has humor, suspense, magic, witches, a demon, a nicely mowed lawn and oh yes, an elephant in a pink tutu…:)
The Well~ Josephine knew it to be just an old dried up old well. Nothing more, nothing less. So why was she always filled with dread every early morning when she got up to use the outhouse nearby? Why did she imagine sounds coming from it when there surly were none? Why indeed.
Witch Hunt~ Halloween is a time for children to get lost in fantasy, roam the streets at night begging for candy and playing tricks on others. For Mitch it was a curse, one he could not escape, one he could not put off, for she would not allow it, she owed him heart and soul and there was nothing he could do about.
Time Stopped~ Time ticks and tocks….and he has the control of that clock…forwards and backwards time and time and again..yet he is always lost. And she may die yet again….
Fire Extinguished~ Worlds upon worlds in this vast universe harbor much life …. either good or bad…civilized or uncivilized… once such race determines who they wish to keep and who they do not keep in the grand scheme of life.
Bits and Pieces~ We all harbor secrets, little demons or large ones that we let no one else see in us. Sometimes we don’t even let ourselves see all the bits and pieces that make us up. When a man’s car breaks down in the middle of no where at night on a dirt road he will find truth at last.
Power in Me~ Angela felt the strange stirrings from within building , energies compelling her to find a release. Parts of it beckoned to her to draw upon it. To let it off its leash…to play….and she grinned wickedly at the thought while she cringed in parts of her mind from it at the same time.
Roadkill~ There are things which exist in this world that we never see; terrible things. Things with a history older than man…more intelligent than man… things to make the heart race. Things avoid at all costs if possible. But it wasn’t Adrian’s day apparently, for he ran right into on the road.
The Line Up ~ The murders seemed indiscriminate with no clear connection. But in his gut, Detective Diego felt there was one between them all. But he couldn’t see it. Now they had a witness to one of them and six women in a line up. Now he might finally find some answers before the next murder took place tonight.
Sinkhole~ Just another day in search of a job in the big city. Taking the Redline into Chicago, Tony had no idea his day would be anything but typical as the train car he rode in suddenly plunged some one-hundred plus feet into the darkness of the sinkhole below the city…
“Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces and which most men throw away.” ~ Charles Caleb Colton
Do you wish to know what lurks and crawls in this brain of mine? Do you wish to know the avenues it takes , the good and the bad, the beautiful, the bloody, the bombastic, and the golden moments that drown? Well welcome I say with a devilish grin wearing my suit of pure white for we are all aspects of all the shades that color the world.
YOU are not exempt. Perhaps in your readings of me and the stories you hear you will see a little into yourself, filtering out all the crap that seems that so often gets in the way of the truth that is you.
So read on, to three of my eclectic samples not quite finished in my future collection of the macabre, to the fun, to the poignant, to the mysterious “what if” of it all… 🙂
I ASK YOU, MY READERS, MY FOLLOWERS, TO PICK ONE OF THE THREE STORIES FOR ME TO FINISH BASED ON THE EXCERPT OF EACH BELOW.
#1 To Take a Life
Sebastian saw the woman sitting in her favorite spot yet again this early Saturday night. Always the same table, the one right at the edge of the dance floor and closest to the bar. She would start the night ordering drink after drink, usually a red wine sometimes a white and just stare ahead seemingly at nothing.
Hours would pass and the club would slowly fill with people and there she would be sitting. Alone. No man had ever approached her to ask her for a dance as she sat. Perhaps they were afraid to approach her, perhaps they thought she wanted to be left alone, perhaps they thought she was out of their league. Perhaps, the word, NO, was already written on her face before they ever would have approached to pose the question in the first place.
Sebastian knew secretly, if they had asked, she probably would have said yes to every one of them. But they never had. So she would sit and watch them all dance from her place at the table. Watch, as the men and women moved on the floor to the seductive beat which pulsed and coursed through the club and bodies wanting to find release from the week’s drudgery called life. Sebastian knew their every whim, their every desire as he always did. They were an open book to him. All you had to do was listen.
This night however he only had ears for the woman who had come here every Saturday night for the last three weeks. Her name was Ms. Evelyn Greer , a pale face contrasted with short shoulder length dark auburn hair, green almond shaped eyes, and full red lips. If she were to ever break a smile he was sure it would have been stunning. A beauty of a woman, majestic in a certain way she held her self. But there was a dullness to her, muted was the word that came to mind, like a dimmer switch to a light turned way down low.
She was to be his tonight. She had marked been many nights ago. She was the one and she had only but to ask him to end her.
#2 From a Dark Place
Joseph carefully placed the five white candles he had just purchased into the big brown suitcase amidst the other items he had already collected. He hands went to close the suitcase but instead they caressed a black leather bound book which lay inside. His eyes went wide and his pupils dilated ever so slightly as he stared at it. He traced the raised symbol on its cover emblazoned in red with his index finger. His finger ran along the entire perimeter of the symbol at all its five points where the continuous line was traced. The symbol was five lines in the form of a star where each point touched the raised circle which surrounded it, what a lovely symbol he mused. Could there be anything more perfect he wondered. A sly smile came to his lips because for all his studies he new the true power of that symbol while others only thought they knew. He had become an adept at the mysteries of it.
“Joseph!” a woman’s voice called to him in a wail from somewhere downstairs in the house.
“Joseph, what the hell are you doing? Spaghettis all done! Christ on a crutch, move your ass!” she yelled again. Joseph could almost picture the spit flying from her mouth as she yelled at him. Fucking fat cow. He would be glad when he was done with her. Joseph couldn’t remember choosing such a bitch of a woman for a wife but he must have, for she lived in his home and occasionally wanted to have sex because of that damn ring on her finger and his own. The weight of the ring seemed to increase more everyday. He wanted to stuff it down her damn throat. It was maddening. No more, no fucking more. Tomorrow, Joseph’s life was about to change.
“Joseph!” she wailed again.
Joseph slammed the suitcase shut, secured the latches and locked them by rotating the combination on each with his thumbs all at once.
“Coming Elizabeth!…..you bitch.” Joseph said the last to himself in a whisper as he tucked the suitcase deep up under his side of the bed and quickly got up to go downstairs for dinner. He would suffer through it with the heifer just for one more night. Spaghetti was his favorite he thought idly to himself.
#3 The Power In Me
Three ping pong balls revolved in midair, each one following the other in a tight circle as they flew.
“I shouldn’t be able to be doing this Carl!” she yelled at the bald little man, sitting across the table from her in the kitchen of her house. Carl was wearing a smug little grin on his face that annoyed the hell out of her. He was always full of himself, today more than usual. He knew something he wasn’t telling her. Shit! She was losing her concentration. One of the balls slipped out of its rotation and fell.
“True and not true,” he replied back glibly to her, as he deftly caught the fallen ball with his left hand inches before it hit the table.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” she asked, her eyes staring ahead at the two remaining balls still rotating in front of her. She thought of a figure eight, and immediately the balls begin to swirl in that configuration. It was equally cool and frightening at the same time, she thought, but Carl didn’t have to know that.
“Angela, you have taken to this extremely well. It seems you are a natural. I have to give our co-workers credit. They were betting you would do well the first time right out the gate. Not many can pull off even one ball this quickly, let alone three. Guess I will have to pay up when I get back to the office.” Carl chuckled to himself, rolling the little white ball he had caught, back and forth between his hands on the dining room table still smiling at her smugly.
Angela took her eyes from the two remaining balls which spun and looked directly at Carl.
“You mean there are others who can do this? Out with it Carl, I’m sick of the games. You’ve been playing them too long, first with my husband now with me. Be straight for once, or for god sakes I’ll shove these balls down your goddamn throat.”
Carl’s smiled slipped a little her under dark stare. Carl involuntarily swallowed when he suddenly realized the balls were still continuing to spin in their figure eight pattern without her looking at them. Damn, she is good, he thought. But she didn’t have to know that; she was arrogant enough as it was. A lot like him more or less, he thought, but still soft.
“Well.” Angela said to him, more of a command than a question.
Carl ignored her tone. “You remember that project three years ago that kept Scott away so many hours at night?”
She remembered all too well, the late nights, and all the arguments that followed, telling her he couldn’t discuss his work with her because she didn’t have the clearance. It still rankled her a little still to this day. Angela only nodded as she looked at him as the balls continued to spin, so Clark continued.
“We had found something amazing. To be more exact it found us. One of the lab geeks directed to synthesize some of the proteins from a plant brought back from Brazil accidentally combined two cultures in the synthesis we were working on with the lot. The other plant was from an older expedition we had done years ago in the Congo in Africa. Scott himself had pulled it from the incubator a few days later. Lot forty-two.”
Angela noticed Carl’s eyes dilating as his hand gestures became more animated as he spoke. This disturbed her for some reason and she didn’t know why.
“Oh, the things Lot Forty-two revealed to us Angela!” Carl found it hard to contain himself as he talked.
“We didn’t know how much until we began the human trials. You did not know this, but Scott your husband, was one of the first volunteers. The committee had been paranoid of it getting out to the general public so everything was done in house; very hush, hush.”
“I am sorry to say this Angela, but he was a fool.” Carl said flatly to her from across the table.
Angela’s eyes suddenly flared from a dull to electric green.
An invisible force compressed against Carl’s chest, to send him flying and to go slamming into the wall behind him. Plaster crumbled around his head and tumbled off his nice black suit coat he wore.
Now I am going to have to go to the dry cleaners tomorrow, Carl thought idly….
I started this blog back in 2012 to promote my writing. I wanted to hone my craft as a writer of stories, to entertain, to inspire, to convey a bit of my own philosophies and life lessons ,and to also have an outlet for all the pent up pressures of the day and prove to myself I could be a successful and write with the best of them eventually.
This blog was not supposed to be just a distraction to my day, or a hobby, or just something to past the time or to socialize with. This blog was created with the intention to put in real time, real blood and sweat and tears and simply write, to write stories, work on my creativity, to inspire, to show you me and let the chips fall where they may.
Gradually over the years I got away from that….I think the fear crept in, as the publisher’s rejections climbed intermingled with the very few triumphs received. So I gave up a little each day. I don’t think I knew I was giving up. But I felt the passion for the long runs going away….the putting in of the time necessary to get to the good stuff.
So I limped along on here…throwing out poems mainly….some good, some really good….some just meh.
But that was a finger in the damn of the need I felt flowing in me to produce what I KNEW needed to come up out of me.
SOOOOOOOOO…to make a long story short…I made a realization suddenly this week.
JUST STOP! RESET…Go back to what you want and SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
So I am. So look for more stories on here and more focused work from me.
My first project will be a collection of short stories new and old to be published this year. YES THIS YEAR. YES THIS YEAR. I must say that as a mantra to myself to make sure I do not falter.
I plan to publish these stories in electronic and paperback book format. So hopefully you are in for entertaining excerpts from my mix of stories in the coming month or so.
I will still write the occasional poem but hopefully with even more thought and careful consideration and appropriate flair as can only come from me.. 🙂
Tomorrow I shall list some of my stories in my planned book collection with a brief synopsis or possibly scene excerpt to show you what I am all about and what is crawling around in my head…. 🙂
Wish me good luck!
“I’m gonna let go, but I don’t know where I’m gonna fall to?” asked the dirty faced little boy who hung limply from a clothesline in the pitch blackness over a deserted alley some four stories high.
“That’s right Michael,” said the other much older boy who hung out the window with one hand in a tight knuckled grip on the window sill and the other on the clothesline from which Michael hung.
“You gotta drop straight down and let us see what you’re made of. We’ve all had to do it, you won’t be the first,” the boy said, in a matter fact tone.
Michael looked up from where he hung at the older boy who had spoken to him, his face and body were hidden in the myriad of shadows the surrounding buildings cast upon him. It seemed to Michael that the shadows spoke to him, the voice didn’t belong to anyone at all just a disembodied entity wanting him to fall to his doom. Michael looked up higher to the stars overhead, his only source of light. He gazed at the nighttime sky, the dancing twinkling night. He had never noticed the stars twinkle as much as he did this night. It made him ponder, it made him think. It made him come to a decision.
He took one last look, time to see what he was made of he thought. He gave the shadowy boy a nod and let go. Just like that.
He fell for an eternity. His long hair was pulled upward as he heard the rush of air flow past his ears. The beat of his heart was the only other intrusion upon his senses as he fell. The stars above were lost in a deep blackness that couldn’t be pierced, like falling down a well at night.
He had landed and he was alive. Somehow he was alive. Michael got up and stood amidst the cheering, hooting and hollering of the other boys that had waited down below. Then he simply turned from them and walked away and never looked back. He did look up though at the twinkling stars.
by Philip Wardlow 2015
“Be brave,” said Pooh to Piglet .
“But it’s not so easy to just be brave Pooh. There are so many scary things out there.”
“Oh, I know that friend, I know, so many things, but the world was meant to be a scary place for good reason,” Pooh said, smiling.
“Meant to be scary! That’s not very comforting Pooh, no not all,” Piglet whispered, frightened.
Pooh took Piglet’s hand, “Now, now don’t you worry, I am here and even when I’m not
here I am still here, ” said Pooh, touching Piglet’s chest over his heart.
“Oh!” Piglet exclaimed, surprised.
“I feel it to,” said Piglet
“Feel what?” Pooh asked, getting lost in thought as hungry Pooh bears sometimes do
“You there in my chest, it takes the place of that fear.” Piglet said.
“Well of course, why do you think I am so brave?” Pooh asked.
“Why Pooh, why?”
“Why? Because you are here, in here with me silly,” Pooh chuckled to himself.
“Oh,” Piglet said in wonder, smiling.
“My comfort from my fears will always be you, my bravery from the scary things in life
will be my friendship I found in you. That scary stuff brought us together and that’s
a good thing in the end.”
Pooh took Piglet’s hand and continued their walk down the dark forest path together.
By Philip Wardlow 2015
Her leaving was quite sudden. Her warmth will be missed, but my love that I had known for these many years turned out to be simply a bitch.
Now I sit in this house we once shared…its a big bold hold of a house, with cracks in the walls and crevices in the floor boards that lead to the in between spaces and nowhere.
I would have fixed them all, all those broken pieces left unattended over the years, but now what’s the use. There really is no call to repair something that only brought me to despair.
Never good enough. “A hole in the wall, ” was my only gift to her, she had ever said.
Then they began to come.
Out of all the those holes and cracks they seeped.
The Monsters liked to crawl from where they laid hidden and nip at me when I turned away. They are an annoyance, their pestering, their little pains. I have gotten scratched on many a occasion, a bite mark or two when ever deep asleep or not quite quick enough on my feet at night.
I felt them grinning there in the dark. I couldn’t see them in the cold dead spaces of the room as they hid but I knew there was an upturned lip or a crinkling of the eyes. I felt them there drinking me in.
I tried not to think about them as I drove to work, or as I sat at my desk, or went to the bathroom or ate my lunch in the breakroom. Sometimes, I even thought one or two had hidden in the trunk of my car and came to work with me. For I felt their presence always….
Its was oppressive.
It hadn’t always been like this. Once I had been free. No monster nipped, scratched or bit. For they didn’t exist in my home. Back then, there were no shadows to hide them. No cold spaces to give them comfort.
I am not sure how they found me. For I sure as hell didn’t let them in. I never asked them to come into my home. I hate them. All of them and they hate me.
There are so many, skinny ones, fat ones, ugly ones, ugly skinny ones, ugly fat ones, foul smelly ones, red eyed, green eyed, black eyed, no-eyed even. So, so many.
I keep them back. Even though there are many, they are not very brave, not at all. They may grin from the dark but they cower. They are afraid of me in some small way. I have yet to figure out why.
I know they don’t like my boot when I give one or two of them a good kick. Oh no, they don’t like the boot, not at all. Then I grin back at them and I sense them cowering more.
They are weak little Monsters and I have my big black steel toed boots to keep them at bay. I wear them all the time even in bed. Not in the shower though. That would be silly. I lock the bathroom door tight, remove my boots in a flourish, still laced but loose, enough to slip back on in a flash.
Naked, I jump in the shower, scrub scrub scrub, then out in a moment between a heartbeat of their indecision to possibly break down the door. I scramble for my towel, dry off and put on my clothes for the next day, slip into my boots and crawl into bed.
They are not as clever as me. Not by far you see.
Until I wake up and find my legs secured, and tied tightly to the bed .
Hmmm…my arms won’t move… they seem to be tied at my sides as well. I am all snug, snug, snug
They all are there, perched on my footboard. Waiting for me to wake up this whole time. They just stare at me, colored eyes shining and no eyes and lifeless and all.
Why do they wait?
Why don’t they rent, why don’t they tear and rip and claw?
A taloned appendage slips off my boots and with a clunk they both hit the bedroom floor.
Then the grins began. This time I can see them. Some toothless, or black and decayed as death,
some mouths with lolling tongues licking lips which drip, milk white saliva which issue a delicate hiss
upon my sheets.
They creep as one …like a low rolling wave they come. Up my body, over my feet, calves and knees…blood seeps, staining the white bed red.
Thighs are on fire as they continue to eat and eat…
All I can do is look on…pain, oh the overwhelming pain, drowns me as the wave of teeth and claws and malice munches me, a wide awake nightmare…of my Monsters finally taking their due.
Darkness falls complete as my eyes are plucked and eaten…how is it that I still live?
My mad mind is all that remains intact.
Until they reach my brains for their final snack.
My mind settles….then drifts…the pain is gone and I meander in a pool of blood red mist…
Images come, blurred and dim, a focus , a purpose coalesces ….
A man sleeps before me angry and mean, fear filled and hopeless as I sit looking through a lit crack into his room and give him a little grin.
by Philip Wardlow 2015