Archibald the evenhanded:
Caller of the gods,
Taker of infernal fires,

One with the forces of nature.
Never bested in single combat;
Except against his dearest friend.

I wanted to see what would happen if I wrote an acrostic out of “act one.” Somehow… This did.

The Fairy and the Troll

“Don’t forget to breathe!”
Cried the fairy to the troll;
For the latter oft was first to leave,
And last to reach the goal.

The two were friends from long ago —
Almost as long as memory;
Through ice and wind and rain and snow,
And much that friends cannot foresee.

The little fairy was as light and fair
As feather, frond, or cloud could be;
Her friend the troll was strong and rare,
Though less deft of feet and mind was he.

Yet ever the two went side by side,
Each the knight at some time or other;
For two succeed where one has tried,
When one is firm and one is clever.

They had for themselves a tournament,
Of which only they’d partake;
A path they carved, and they raced it
From their village, far down to the lake.

The troll, he always started strong,
But never could adapt his strength
To match his friend who rode along
On the wind and always won the race.

Now, the fairy wanted nothing more
Than for her friend to best her fair and square,
And spent her time searching for
A thought that just may help them there.

She tried everything she thought of
To give an edge to her defeated friend;
But every plan she thought up
Still found her waiting at the end.

Until finally, she had a thought
And they ran one final round:
With a smile as she raced fair like she’d taught,
With her own feet firmly on the ground.

The Lost Rider

There once was a rider
Upon a white hill,
Taking his time
To do what he will.

His horse pranced about
And whinnied and neighed
And the rider realized
Too long had he stayed.

The hill, it turned black;
The darkness became
All he could see,
And naught he could tame.

And he wandered about
Till lo! on his reins
He found a little kind hand,
And a little voice came

And told him at last
He was no more alone:
He had a friend,
Who would guide his way home.

The Shadow Man


She trembles beneath her covers
As a shadow crawls out from her wall…
Suddenly, to the day she wakes:
It was just a dream after all.

But the next night it comes again:
She feels as if it’s somehow closer.
Surely she’s going insane
And this thing will just blow over?

A week, and then a month;
These doctors cannot help her.
Not even a shaman, nor a priest:
They cannot give her shelter.

Things begin to happen:
A tragedy that shows up on the news
Will sometimes seem familiar…
And whence came this bruise?

More and more as time goes on
She feels she’s filling up with shadow,
And whatever else is left of her
Feels more and more hollow.

Until one day she wakes up
And it’s her brother’s body that is found.
No one can tell her how he died:
He wasn’t strangled, stabbed, or drowned.

Only that it fits
With a recent string of deaths:
It was like they just gave up the ghost
And simply ceased taking breaths.

But no one would believe it
When she told them it was murder;
No one would believe it
When she said that it was her.

The shadow came again that night,
And there was nothing she could do;
The next morning another death
Was reported on the news.

Here she puts an end to it:
She’ll take her own life.
But the police don’t find her body;
They only find the bloody knife.

The Fantastic Cockroach From Mars

So, the other day, Stephen Black of the Fractured Faith blog posted a lighthearted challenge to make up and “sell” a (B) movie based off a name determined by your birth date — You can see what I mean here.

I saw a few combinations that I might’ve been able to work with… Unfortunately, I can’t change when I was born, and — naturally — wound up with the thing most contrary to me. I mean, cockroach? Seriously? I could’ve gotten hobbit. Or vampire. Or bunny. And those are just the subjects! But noooo. I’m “The Fantastic Cockroach From Mars.”

But, despite not getting “The Demonic Bunny From Deep Space,” I actually did have some fun with this. Even if it is totally weird and I’ll probably regret sharing it by tomorrow…

Well, before I have second thoughts, here is my attempt at an imaginary synopsis of an imaginary (and very B) movie:

People left their homes for various reasons. For Richard Roach, it was for adventure. For the greater good. For all his family and friends, crushed beneath the boots of tyrants. The former colony on Mars had been destroyed, bombarded with radioactive bombs, and he… he was the only survivor.

Alone, and finding himself changed after The Calamity, he makes his way to earth, bent on finding the truth, causing a ruckus, and maybe just getting some old-fashioned revenge.

But when he gets there, he makes an unexpected friend, eats some pizza, and is confronted with a difficult choice: mutate every cockroach on earth, and in the process destroy humanity and all it’s built… Or hang up his fedora, and leave his people’s fate in the hands of the mysterious Second Brain…


Disclaimer: no cockroaches were harmed in the making of this film. (Though there possibly should have been.)


Well, I once was a wide-eyed lass
Within a sleepy town:
Then you came;
You said my name,
And I followed you southbound.

Your every word, your noble mien
Had me kneeling on the ground:
You were the hero of my dreams
And where others lost,
I found.

The skilled would always hear your call,
Only to flee or die;
But I, with only what I saw
On how a sword or bow was drawn,
Stayed there by your side.

Not for gold or fame I stayed,
But to be your truest friend:
It was the only currency
That really mattered,
In the end.

But all the times I stayed for you
Were undone when you fled;
And as done to me,
So will I do,
And leave you for dead.

Koala King

Over Wolfie, Santa,
And Bear, he rules;
In his dark kingdom,
The largest and the fluffiest.
Once the greeter at the door
Now, little more
And possibly much less.
Midnight antics are impossible
For the midnight is mine
And no time for an empire
Of dolls to come alive.
No torment can he visit
Upon his owner or on me
For I am his watcher;
Not, perhaps, an enemy
But the place of this koala king
Is exile with the lower class.
I can only hope that any residual anger
At being locked in the closet
Will quickly pass.


One of my brothers hates koalas. So naturally, we get him something koala-related (usually stuffed animals) at every opportunity. One of these was this huge, stuffed koala, that for a time, I had perched near my door, (somehow, the thing ended up in my hands…) peeking around the corner. Then stuff happened, I had to clean up, and he got tossed in the closet with a couple of other dolls.

Now, I don’t remember what age I was, but at some point, sleeping with dolls became less a child’s inexplicable display of love for an inanimate object, and more about appeasement. I was afraid that if I didn’t show a certain amount of preference for certain dolls, they would grow angry, come alive, and murder me in my sleep. Which is funny, because I don’t think I ever watched anything like that. And yet, I still haven’t quite overcome that suspicion…

But anyway, this week’s CW prompt is to:

“In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a koala in a kingdom.”
[Extra points for pulling off a BOTS (Based On a True Story)]

“Sunshine” Award



I was in a bit of a mood the other day. Cynical and all that. I smiled just the same, laughed the same for everyone else. But on my own, I felt an anger and a weight. It was still with those feelings that I sat down to blog for the night. I went to my site, opened up my notifications with a bit of a sigh; I glanced at some, scrolled down…

“Wait, what?!” *Cue ten minutes of laughter*


That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the irony of getting an award so named when I had been in such a dark mood tickled me greatly. I seem to always get sunshine in my darkest hours. In that, I am blessed. So thank you, Angana, for your impeccable timing. 🙂 

The rules are as follows:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Share 5-10 random facts about yourself
3. Nominate new blogs and ask those people to give 5-10 random facts about themselves
4. List the rules
5. Let those bloggers know you nominated them.

I’m not going to be particularly strict with my nominations. It says “new” blogs, but what does that mean exactly? New to the blogosphere? Or new to your circle? Or just new as in, not you and not the person who nominated you? I don’t know. I’m just going to disregard that, tag a couple people/blogs that come to mind, and whoever wants to participate — or, not — that’s cool.

Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy

One day at a time…

Fractured Faith

The Sixpence at Her Feet

Between the Lines

I’m sure there’s lots of other blogs deserving of the award (and lots of blogs perhaps not keyed to this particular award, but that I’d love to tag anyway) but I’m just going to stop myself there. No need to give my procrastinative tendencies any more food.

And now the final step for this post — Well… technically the second step, but I’m apparently not doing this in order at all — is to give 5-10 random facts about myself. I like the number seven. That shouldn’t be too hard, even for me…

1. I’m prone to rambling. Especially when it’s late. And I almost always write late. Bet you can’t guess what time I’m writing this at…

2. Ice cream is my staple post-dinner, pre-midnight snack. Especially with milk poured over the top. Which is practically the only way I’ll willingly drink milk…

3. Sometimes (though less often in recent years) when I’m genuinely tickled by something, I’ll leave out the “OL” of “LOL”: I don’t laugh per se, I just kind of… Convulse. I find the habit especially amusing, as when I was reading a collection of the Sherlock Holmes stories, I noticed that in one of them (the Blue Carbuncle) there was a description of how Holmes “laughed in the hearty, noiseless fashion which was peculiar to him.” Needless to say, I’m thrilled to have anything in common with the sleuth.

4. When reading books on my kindle, I’ll often highlight anything that interests me: things I find funny, or agree with, or that give insight into a character. Of course, half the time when I’m rereading, I’ll forget why I highlighted it in the first place.  

5. I’m an introvert, but my sister believes I’m significantly more gregarious than she is. Occasional run-ins with people outside our little bubble would seem to support this, though I’m still skeptical. And personally, I’m not sure I’m actually any better with people than she is, which is something she also insists.

6. I am rather proud of what I like to call my “vampiric complexion;” though I fear I’ve recently developed a bit more of a — *shudder* — tan.

7. I love music — though the technical aspects of it are lost on me — and I listen to everything from Billie Eilish to Icon For Hire to Loreena Mckennitt; not to mention the really obscure stuff that Spotify throws at me that winds up becoming my new obsession. Oh, and I have a playlist on Spotify titled “Murder;” Congrats, Billie — you made it! Bellyache on repeat…


Basically, I’m weird. Gee, who could have guessed? I’ll let you go now.



8.  Oh, and my name is Rachel. ☺

The Crucifix Killer

Eight weeks, eight kills,
Each a twisted crucifixion:
Upside down, on Sunday found;
A killer with a mission.

He took them each on Friday,
Sometime in the night.
Fearful, a decree was made
To stay in when there’s no light.

But teenagers will always be
Victims of their own bravado.
In a clearing in the woods:
Bonfire, peer and bottle.

Christine never was a party girl;
But she came for friends who were.
Tommy handed her a drink that night…
All the rest’s a blur.

She remembers running,
Tears streaming down her face —
Straight into a man,
Who held her for a space;

Then he looked her in the eyes
And she realized who he was.
She remembers trying to scream,
But all the rest is fuzz.

She wakes up in a tiny room,
Tied up to a chair;
Another opposite of her:
That same man sitting there.

He smiles as she wakes
And bids her a good morning,
Apologizing for the state
Of the room — hardly warming.

He regrets the necessity of binds,
And the means he used last night:
A conk over the head,
So they wouldn’t have to fight.

He was sorry to see her
In such a state before:
Most he sees on such a night
Deserve all they get and more;

But she, he is convinced
Is made of better stuff,
And if she’ll just bear with him ’til Sunday
Then she’ll be free enough.


For his final victim,
Those two days were hell;
And when they found the body,
They almost couldn’t tell.

It had been lashed and stoned;
Crucified and burned.
Hung upside down
As a lesson to be learned:

That those who claim to be
Righteous, should be upright;
An evil man pretending
Deserves to tremble in the night.

So the killer believed;
And he believes it still
When he thinks about Christine.
She sometimes visits him in jail;

And that final kill, that final Sunday,
The man he killed and burned?
As somebody who could hurt her,
Tommy got what he deserved.


Well, this one was very specific — though I suspect I was not:

“Write a story about how eight murders have taken place in your character’s town in the past 8 weeks. Once a week, on the same day, at the same time. When your character gets abducted after being out past the town’s new curfew, they have only 48 hours to discover why this is happening and how to get free…all while being tortured by the murderer.”

A Tavern In Transylvania

It was after dark when they arrived,
And the whispers followed soon;
Three strangers on a gloomy night —
The night of a full moon.
Dressed in coats and wide-brimmed hats;
Quiet, watchful, grim.
Were they werewolves on the prowl
Or robbers on the lam?
Outside it stormed and thundered;
Inside, plates and tankards clattered.
A wary look, a quiet joke;
Laughter here and there scattered.
The three continued watching;
The rest continued waiting.
The air grew stiff and quiet:
How long would they be staying?
Another man enters the room:
A gentleman quite mellow.
The three disown their seats
And walk over toward the fellow.

But they encounter in their way
A man who’s had enough —
Of drink, and mysterious ways,
And demands answers with a puff.
The three try to explain:
Vampire hunters, so they say.
They’ve tracked him a long while:
That “gentleman” is their prey.
The fellow rises in protest
And cries out in indignation!
Surely he won’t be consigned
To death and mutilation?

The man assents, not today
And rests his hand upon his gun;
Who’s to say the three are not
The real blood-sucking ones?
Murmurs ripple all around:
Superstitions and suspicions;
Then the lights flicker out,
And all’s frantic and vicious.
Pistols, unholstered, are shot blind;
Knives are slashed in fear.
The lights come on again
To a bath of blood and beer.
The gentleman, through it all unscathed,
Makes sure to thank his dying savior;
And note the taste of all this blood
Is something that he’ll savor.