Kept Secrets


Kept Secrets by Craig McGray

Originally posted on Pen of the Damned:

Darkness devoured every ounce of light.

Opening her eyes, Beth’s mind spun, groping for traction as to where she was and how she’d gotten there. The air, musty and thick, made breathing difficult and she wheezed with each panting breath. Her hands and feet were bound, her sense of balance distorted.

She screamed, but the words caught in her throat, trapped behind a wad of fabric shoved into her mouth. Beth scanned the void for a hint of anything that might bring details to her surroundings.

Somewhere in the distance, a door creaked open, ushering in a sliver of light, only to slam shut seconds later. Her chest heaved and rivulets of tears streamed down her cheeks when a familiar sound came to her. The clacking of boot heels on wooden floors echoed like cannons as they made their way closer.

Beth’s pulse echoed in her ears. An orange…

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Welcome to Purple Hope!


Welcome to Purple Hope!

Originally posted on Purple Hope:

Hello! My name is Joseph A. Pinto and welcome to Purple Hope!

George Henry Lewes once said, “The only cure for grief is action.”

And he was right. Grief is different things to different people, even down to the manner in which we come to terms with it. No right or wrong ways exist to our process; more importantly, perhaps, is the path we eventually choose.

I found myself along that road several months after my father passed from pancreatic cancer in 2007. It was an excruciatingly painful time, but I did settle upon my own cure. I wrote a book in tribute to my father, a fantasy tale that took his real world and transformed it into myth. In turn I did something else – I offered a message of hope and of unity to be shared with others in a similar situation such as…

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Iniquity’s Marathon


INIQUITY’S MARATHON by Pen of the Damned’s Leslie Moon

Originally posted on Pen of the Damned:

Separate, the chasm widens
where you were
you are not now
and there is none left to save you
your guts are pierced
like a bloated sow


Once you walked
on wild flower fields
pink and reds
beckoned to your touch
beauty climbed upon a vine then
the world was kind
and often just


Now your fingers
reek of sulfur
your face removed
in acid wash
your foul lips
drip lies deceitful
wicked words are stolen, lost


Once you walked
on wild flower fields
pink and reds
beckoned to your touch
beauty climbed upon a vine then
the world was kind
and often just


Mischief is now your maker
poison your new best friend
the black adder is the taker
of lust you need not pretend
crush her eggs beneath your heel
the viper rises from its nest
each work day
violence is breeding
this is evil’s…

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Shooting Stars


SHOOTING STARS by Thomas Brown

Originally posted on Pen of the Damned:

I smell the burning varnish used to coat the stalls long before I first notice that the stables are ablaze. My initial thought is that someone is having a bonfire. I sometimes light bonfires myself, when the pile of broken fence slats and posts behind the tack room grows too great. Those fires smell of burning varnish too. The chemical tang of solvent fills my throat.

After several minutes of the smell, I am drawn from the kitchen, where I was cooking myself dinner, to the conservatory. I cannot remember how I came to be standing in the kitchen, or what I was cooking, but that must have been what I was doing. It is then, as I move towards the glass, that I see the distant glow of flames in the darkness. My chest tightens, but I do not move. I can do nothing except stare, transfixed, at the…

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Lucia of the Gargoyles



Originally posted on Magenta Nero:

Lucia had just turned thirteen years old. A year marked by the spotting of blood and budding of tender breasts. It was the year her visions began. One afternoon she was sitting on the swing in the backyard. Deep in thought, swaying in slow arcs, she dragged her toes in the dirt, back and forth. That is when the first one appeared. It came hurling towards her, plump legs cocked up, claws aimed at her face. Huge black eyes glared at her, a long forked tongue lashed from it’s fat little beak. A screech echoed in the air. She fell backwards, hitting the ground painfully.
Later, sitting in the kitchen with an ice pack to her head, she couldn’t explain to her mother what had happened or what it was she had seen. Perhaps she had imagined the whole thing but there were inexplicable scratches on her face.
After that…

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Originally posted on imaginalis:

Officer Pressman decided to stop and catch his breath before entering Obscurity City Police Station. The rookie’s lungs were screaming for oxygen after he’d gone on a ten minute run that had exacerbated an undiagnosed bout of concussion.
Mammoth had left him seeing double.
Red just needed to find some clothes before he could start looking for Carl Garrett.


Chief Bull was sitting in his office at the local precinct. He had been forced to stay late after being told that there would be significant activity on Obscurity’s docks.
Bell Island had become a bigger issue than anticipated.
Nancy’s thoughts turned to speculation about what might be going down. He couldn’t wait for those damned crates to become someone else’s responsibility.
Bull’s phone started ringing, shattering the silence that had fallen on his dimly lit office.
“Chief, it’s Dr. Roswell. Patient two got away.”
“He wasn’t in his…

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Damned Words 9


Damned Words 9

Originally posted on Pen of the Damned:


Jon Olson

How long has it been? No way to keep track. Not in here; not in this crypt. I’m sure the humans know. Once, they were prey; I was the hunter, too powerful for defeat. How long since they dug this pit and threw me in? Imprisoning and confining me to this tomb? These stone walls: built to contain; to prevent my escape. Impenetrable; unbeatable. That’s their belief; makes them feel safe; makes them forget. Time will be their undoing. Look there! See the plants? Slowly, they’ve found a weakness; slipping in through cracks. A way in, is a way out.

Stone Cold
Blaze McRob

The time is nigh. He feels it, smells it, tastes it. The rocks encased in the cement binding the wall together tingle with excitement. Leaves growing within the cracks between the rocks turn towards the sound of foot steps.

The fool approaches. Each…

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