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Since the publication of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” in 1897, vampires (aka mystical beings that subsist by feeding on the life essence of living creatures) have been part of our popular culture
By Felina Silver Robinson
Gruesellia was a girl like any other girl
Despite her mole covered face,
Scarred scaling skin
And hunching back
Her heart beats as fast
As any other
Her dreams toss about
Her cobwebbed filled head
While tears of loneliness drip down
Her torn dirty dress
She stands alone for her smell
Is so foul not even the scariest of
Goblins or ghouls will stick around
The sun dares not to follow
Leaving scary dark clouds as her only companion
How could love dare come around
But to her surprise
The sun did rise
Sending the clouds packing
As her prince came a walking
Before she could scatter
To hide her hideous appearance
She felt the softness of his lips
Upon her mole covered face
Slowly but surely
Her hideousness began to disappear
Her eyes quickly filled with cheer
Which is something she had never known
The prince slowly began to whisper
Into her ear
I’ve always loved you
Her face cracked a smile
So large it hurt
No longer did her tears burn
As they rolled down her face
For the moles were no longer present
Gruesellia continued to wipe away her tears
Where only soft clear skin did lie
The gleam in her eyes made birds fill the sky
No longer was she gruesome
Now before the young prince
Stood a fair maiden
Who would soon become his bride
Proving once and again
That love finds its way
Into all a deserving heart
Sitting in a chair in the corner of a dark room
It’s quiet and I’m all alone
I hear the floor boards talking to each other
Something seems to be crawling slowly up my left leg
I slap my leg as if a fly was upon it
The slight sting brings a little pain
My mind goes back to the sound of the talking floor boards
The wind smacks branches against the stained window
Something howls out yonder
Suddenly the hair at the nape of my neck stands firmly
The room is suddenly cold
So cold I see my breath before me
Now sitting opposite me is a woman
A tall slender woman now smiles back at me
Her eyes are darkened but her hair is gleaming
Suddenly something comes creeping out of the right side of her mouth
She starts laughing and falls to the floor
And the red dress she was wearing lies empty on the floor
The dark room is darker no more
The coldness has been replaced with warmth
The creepy crawler slithers through the small hole in the window
The wind is now absent as is the beastly howling
and I feel safe again
Happy Halloween Everyone
I hope you enjoyed “Creepy Crawlers©”
by Felina Silver Robinson
Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
CT III, SCENE I. The French King’s pavilion.
Enter CONSTANCE, ARTHUR, and SALISBURY
Gone to be married! gone to swear a peace!
False blood to false blood join’d! gone to be friends!
Shall Lewis have Blanch, and Blanch those provinces?
It is not so; thou hast misspoke, misheard:
Be well advised, tell o’er thy tale again:
It cannot be; thou dost but say ’tis so:
I trust I may not trust thee; for thy word
Is but the vain breath of a common man:
Believe me, I do not believe thee, man;
I have a king’s oath to the contrary.
Thou shalt be punish’d for thus frighting me,
For I am sick and capable of fears,
Oppress’d with wrongs and therefore full of fears,
A widow, husbandless, subject to fears,
A woman, naturally born to fears;
And though thou now confess thou didst but jest,
With my vex’d spirits I cannot take a truce,
But they will quake and tremble all this day.
What dost thou mean by shaking of thy head?
Why dost thou look so sadly on my son?
What means that hand upon that breast of thine?
Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum,
Like a proud river peering o’er his bounds?
Be these sad signs confirmers of thy words?
Then speak again; not all thy former tale,
But this one word, whether thy tale be true.
As true as I believe you think them false
That give you cause to prove my saying true.
O, if thou teach me to believe this sorrow,
Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die,
And let belief and life encounter so
As doth the fury of two desperate men
Which in the very meeting fall and die.
Lewis marry Blanch! O boy, then where art thou?
France friend with England, what becomes of me?
Fellow, be gone: I cannot brook thy sight:
This news hath made thee a most ugly man.
What other harm have I, good lady, done,
But spoke the harm that is by others done?
Which harm within itself so heinous is
As it makes harmful all that speak of it.
I do beseech you, madam, be content.
If thou, that bid’st me be content, wert grim,
Ugly and slanderous to thy mother’s womb,
Full of unpleasing blots and sightless stains,
Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious,
Patch’d with foul moles and eye-offending marks,
I would not care, I then would be content,
For then I should not love thee, no, nor thou
Become thy great birth nor deserve a crown.
But thou art fair, and at thy birth, dear boy,
Nature and Fortune join’d to make thee great:
Of Nature’s gifts thou mayst with lilies boast,
And with the half-blown rose. But Fortune, O,
She is corrupted, changed and won from thee;
She adulterates hourly with thine uncle John,
And with her golden hand hath pluck’d on France
To tread down fair respect of sovereignty,
And made his majesty the bawd to theirs.
France is a bawd to Fortune and King John,
That strumpet Fortune, that usurping John!
Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn?
Envenom him with words, or get thee gone
And leave those woes alone which I alone
Am bound to under-bear.
Pardon me, madam,
I may not go without you to the kings.
Thou mayst, thou shalt; I will not go with thee:
I will instruct my sorrows to be proud;
For grief is proud and makes his owner stoop.
To me and to the state of my great grief
Let kings assemble; for my grief’s so great
That no supporter but the huge firm earth
Can hold it up: here I and sorrows sit;
Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it.
Seats herself on the ground
Enter KING JOHN, KING PHILLIP, LEWIS, BLANCH, QUEEN ELINOR, the BASTARD, AUSTRIA, and Attendants
‘Tis true, fair daughter; and this blessed day
Ever in France shall be kept festival:
To solemnize this day the glorious sun
Stays in his course and plays the alchemist,
Turning with splendor of his precious eye
The meagre cloddy earth to glittering gold:
The yearly course that brings this day about
Shall never see it but a holiday.
A wicked day, and not a holy day!
What hath this day deserved? what hath it done,
That it in golden letters should be set
Among the high tides in the calendar?
Nay, rather turn this day out of the week,
This day of shame, oppression, perjury.
Or, if it must stand still, let wives with child
Pray that their burthens may not fall this day,
Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross’d:
But on this day let seamen fear no wreck;
No bargains break that are not this day made:
This day, all things begun come to ill end,
Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change!
By heaven, lady, you shall have no cause
To curse the fair proceedings of this day:
Have I not pawn’d to you my majesty?
You have beguiled me with a counterfeit
Resembling majesty, which, being touch’d and tried,
Proves valueless: you are forsworn, forsworn;
You came in arms to spill mine enemies’ blood,
But now in arms you strengthen it with yours:
The grappling vigour and rough frown of war
Is cold in amity and painted peace,
And our oppression hath made up this league.
Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjured kings!
A widow cries; be husband to me, heavens!
Let not the hours of this ungodly day
Wear out the day in peace; but, ere sunset,
Set armed discord ‘twixt these perjured kings!
Hear me, O, hear me!
Lady Constance, peace!
War! war! no peace! peace is to me a war
O Lymoges! O Austria! thou dost shame
That bloody spoil: thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward!
Thou little valiant, great in villany!
Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
Thou Fortune’s champion that dost never fight
But when her humorous ladyship is by
To teach thee safety! thou art perjured too,
And soothest up greatness. What a fool art thou,
A ramping fool, to brag and stamp and swear
Upon my party! Thou cold-blooded slave,
Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side,
Been sworn my soldier, bidding me depend
Upon thy stars, thy fortune and thy strength,
And dost thou now fall over to my fores?
Thou wear a lion’s hide! doff it for shame,
And hang a calf’s-skin on those recreant limbs.
O, that a man should speak those words to me!
And hang a calf’s-skin on those recreant limbs.
Thou darest not say so, villain, for thy life.
And hang a calf’s-skin on those recreant limbs.
We like not this; thou dost forget thyself.
Enter CARDINAL PANDULPH
Here comes the holy legate of the pope.
Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven!
To thee, King John, my holy errand is.
I Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,
And from Pope Innocent the legate here,
Do in his name religiously demand
Why thou against the church, our holy mother,
So wilfully dost spurn; and force perforce
Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop
Of Canterbury, from that holy see?
This, in our foresaid holy father’s name,
Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.
What earthy name to interrogatories
Can task the free breath of a sacred king?
Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name
So slight, unworthy and ridiculous,
To charge me to an answer, as the pope.
Tell him this tale; and from the mouth of England
Add thus much more, that no Italian priest
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions;
But as we, under heaven, are supreme head,
So under Him that great supremacy,
Where we do reign, we will alone uphold,
Without the assistance of a mortal hand:
So tell the pope, all reverence set apart
To him and his usurp’d authority.
Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.
Though you and all the kings of Christendom
Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
Dreading the curse that money may buy out;
And by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,
Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,
Who in that sale sells pardon from himself,
Though you and all the rest so grossly led
This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish,
Yet I alone, alone do me oppose
Against the pope and count his friends my foes.
Then, by the lawful power that I have,
Thou shalt stand cursed and excommunicate.
And blessed shall he be that doth revolt
From his allegiance to an heretic;
And meritorious shall that hand be call’d,
Canonized and worshipped as a saint,
That takes away by any secret course
Thy hateful life.
O, lawful let it be
That I have room with Rome to curse awhile!
Good father cardinal, cry thou amen
To my keen curses; for without my wrong
There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.
There’s law and warrant, lady, for my curse.
And for mine too: when law can do no right,
Let it be lawful that law bar no wrong:
Law cannot give my child his kingdom here,
For he that holds his kingdom holds the law;
Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong,
How can the law forbid my tongue to curse?
Philip of France, on peril of a curse,
Let go the hand of that arch-heretic;
And raise the power of France upon his head,
Unless he do submit himself to Rome.
Look’st thou pale, France? do not let go thy hand.
Look to that, devil; lest that France repent,
And by disjoining hands, hell lose a soul.
King Philip, listen to the cardinal.
And hang a calf’s-skin on his recreant limbs.
Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs, Because–
Your breeches best may carry them.
Philip, what say’st thou to the cardinal?
Come back on 11/01/15 and join me for more fun with Shakespeare’s “King John”
Side Note from Felina Silver Robinson: Raymond Carver tells an odd story of an old man selling his belongings and the family that buys much of it and the relationship that bonds them despite the odd feelings that it brings them.
More About The Writer: Raymond Carver
To buy this book click on either of the links below
Image borrowed from: Shards of Alara (“The Grizzly Bear”)
Deep in the woods 16-year-old Jessica was hiding behind the biggest elm tree she could find. The ground was completely covered with a blanket of thin shear ice due to the recent drop in temperature. Jessica had lost her way when she almost missed her bus stop and the substitute driver not knowing his own way and nervous about where he was, demanded that Jessica leave the bus so that he could head back the way he came in the hopes of finding his own way home. He no longer wanted to deal with Jessica. Being told not to fight with adults and not feeling comfortable around a stranger, Jessica listened, and vacated the bus. She didn’t realize that it was already getting dark outside and had no idea where she was. Within minutes whatever light left in the day was gone and Jessica was suddenly terrified. She heard the ice cracking underfoot with every step she took. But she couldn’t just stand there it was getting colder by the minute outside. All she could do was walk. Her eyes were bulging with fear with each random sound she heard. She felt as if she were in a scene out of a horror movie. She began to think that maybe she was in one of her very own horror movies. Twenty minutes later she could see a light glimmering in the distance. She followed the glimmer and as she got closer and closer a terrible odor surrounded her but she couldn’t figure out what it was or where it was coming from. Just feet away she saw a small cabin. With numbness settling in on almost every part of her body, the cabin seemed like her only option but after thinking about it she no longer felt safe with the idea of knocking on the door. Before she could process any alternatives someone or something had knocked her out cold.
Jessica had no idea how long she had been unconscious. She wasn’t tied up, just tossed in a ball on the corner of a cold kitchen floor. The cold stone made her jump quickly to her feet. The one thing she knew was that she had to think fast to find a way out of this place or she might end up as the foul odor she had smelled outside. Jessica could hear the faint sound of a saw coming from the basement followed by muffled screams and clawing as if someone or something was trying to make its way in or out. The front door started to shake frantically and just burst open as if struck by the wind of a tornado. Standing before her was a disfigured man draped in a brown torn garment and what looked to be thick tights. He was dripping with blood that didn’t seem to be his own. He held a blood covered sword in one hand and a lit torch in the other. He frantically spoke to me as if trying to warn me of what was to come. The words just wouldn’t formulate to anything Jessica could understand. Eager to protect her, the man quickly picked Jessica up and threw her on the back of his horse. What a beautiful and amazing horse it was. It was as white as snow with a golden mane. Not a drip of his owner’s blood spilled anywhere upon its skin. His eyes were as dark as the night, but not in a scary way. There was gentleness about it. Come to think of it, although dripping with blood his owner too possessed that same soft quality about him. No words were spoken. They rode for what felt like hours through a bone covered path with random skulls tossed here and there. Jessica wondered who all the heads belonged to and could only hope that hers wouldn’t be tossed about just as theirs had been. With each step the horse took the darkness behind them seemed to slip magically away as did the bones, the skulls and the horrible odor from the woods.
We came to a halt and there was a sudden sense of warmth and a feeling of safeness. The disfigured man quickly jumped down from his horse and extended his hands to Jessica. Jessica jumped gently into his arms so that he could place her on the ground. She stared into his black eyes that slowly seemed to be changing with every second that passed. Once she was safely on the ground, Jessica reached up on her tippy toes and kissed him on the cheek thanking him for saving her. As her kiss melted into his skin the disfigured man began to slowly change. The blood evaporated into thin air. His ragged clothes turned into tan khaki pants and a baby blue polo shirt. His horse turned into a sky blue perfectly kept Chevy mustang. Jessica just couldn’t stop staring. She couldn’t believe that one minute she felt left for dead in the deep, dark woods and now she stood before the man of her dreams. He reached out to place her hands in his and said my name is Jason. Thank you for breaking my curse. Jason went on to tell Jessica that five years ago he too had gotten lost in the woods on a school trip and was left behind. No one ever found him. He told her that if you stand under the biggest elm tree it releases the beast called the “Innidenti” of the woods. If you are ever left to stand by that tree when night falls you will be trapped here inside the curse. It changes your form and turns you into a dead, heartless soul. If you are lucky the curse is all that will happen. If you are not so lucky you’re chopped to pieces and fed to the beast to keep it living, but it only likes the blood of the young. Only a kiss from the one you risked your life to save will return your soul to your body and make you whole again.
Jessica was in shock and grateful at the same time. She was speechless. James just wanted to get them both out of this place before anything else could happen. Jessica was afraid to ask why his sword was dripping with blood. Jason didn’t want to tell Jessica that he had just killed the Innidenti, because he was just as eager as she was to leave the woods. Jessica would forever be wondering why though. They stopped at the 7 eleven as they entered their hometown. They both called their parents and waited to be reunited. As she waited, Jessica began to think that maybe just maybe the “substitute” bus driver intentionally left her right at there at that spot in the woods. Was he maybe the Innidenti who had changed forms to capture his prey?