Stained Glass

It was in a nondescript flat, wooden box in the basement, a leftover from previous tenants now long gone. Or the tenants who came of left before the last couple who lived here. Rosalind couldn’t really tell, nor was she particularly interested in dragging that heavy box upstairs to take to the corner for trash day. Something about the box piqued her curiosity, though, especially the light that seemed to shine through one of the uncovered edges.

It took her an hour to pull and drag the box up the wooden stairs.

After finding a hammer, she flipped it to the prong side and began pulling out the nails, carefully tossing them in a neat pile. The wood seemed old, and gave way to her strength as she pulled out a large, round pane of stained glass. Looking at the wooden walls in the living room and dining room and the square window panes, it occurred to Rosalind that this could not have been installed in the house because it was too big for any house. It belonged to a church, perhaps a church long gone.

As she studied the design and colors, she noted the familiar image of the Virgin Mary and Child, how the pane seemed to capture the sunlight coming into the kitchen as if to store its ray like a solar panel. The room began to fill with a warm glow, and the air was suddenly fragrant with the smell of fresh roses. As Rosalind began to fill with a certain and familiar quiver of her state of “tipsy,” it occurred to her that no church would have commissioned such a work for their sanctuary, for it would not have been deemed acceptable for the masses.

What was once thought to be basement junk was now a center of attention in her living room as found art to outsiders who visited her as it hung on her wall seeming to have its own source of light even as the sun set outside.

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#ww470 #30days Never Ending Light

Waiting for night’s rest became useless about a year ago.

To be honest, I’m not sure my existence here is proof that I am alive. I could be in some sort of Purgatory. Food and water tends to be whatever I find on this island, and the cave I use for rest is warm–though strangely empty of inhabitants I would expect in a dark place in the wild.

But no one else and nothing else living beyond plants exists here. The sun never fully rises or sets. It hovers, as if time itself is waiting for something.

I remember life before the here that is now.

I remember falling asleep at night, waking up to go to campus for a meeting, and seeing/feeling heat as if the sun itself had landed in the middle of town. I remember the crush of debris and white-hot air as the megaton warhead exploded and my skin began to boil–then there was here.

Waiting.

Revenant #30days #ww470

It was cold to his fingers when he touched the edges of the canister.

He expected to see a candle when he crouched to the ground to pick it up, but no, it was a free standing flame inside a lattice patterned canister in the middle of the park at night. The flame seemed to dance back and forth as he picked up the metal frame as if to speak to him. He looked at his German Shepherd companion keeping him company during his night walk and noticed the hair flailing out from his tail as he slowly backed away as if in silent alarm. The man returned the light to the ground and also began to back away, suddenly feeling dizzy and slightly panicked. The light began to ascend from its cage like a firefly and inch its way toward the man and his dog as they turned back to the narrow path towards home. Both wind and feet rustled through the forest as they fled from uncontrolled flames that now consumed dry branches and leaves left in their wake.

Bottle Service #7 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days) by Cherie Ann Turpin

Bottle Service #7 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days)
by Cherie Ann Turpin
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A quiet crowd hovered in the alleyway between [] street leading up to the dull, gray door of Aremwen’s Parlour near opening time, 11 p.m.  Two Nephilim hybrid brothers, one with Black skin, one with White skin, stood at the entrance as security, quietly surveying the makeup of the chic crowd.  Both men wore matching black suits, sunglasses, and Secret Service style earpieces, but they reserved the electronics for human eyes and ears, as they were adept at telepathy and teleportation.  They were quite useful as security not just for their  7’8 height and massive chest and arm muscles, but because they were magical beings like the clientele of this private club.
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The bar was located in the alleyway near an art gallery just before the C&O Canal at the bottom of Georgetown.  It was the only venue that openly welcomed Phorzhicoans, witches, vampires, demons, angels, shifters, warriors, extractors, telepaths, fallen deities–in other words, all uber-natural beings often not welcome among humans in social settings.  Mary, who was a vampire, owned Aremwen.  At 300 she still looked like a slender teenager with smooth, dark brown skin, and a tall Afro cut down the sides into a mohawk.  She was originally brought to the New World as a small child from Ghana.

After surviving the Middle Passage, Mary was sold into slavery to a small farm outside Jamestown, Virginia.  Her Vampire Mother, under the guise of a freedwoman midwife, rescued her from the lecherous slave master whose nefarious intentions had already resulted in an unwanted pregnancy and birth of a stillborn girl.  After smuggling the almost dead 19 year-old from the farm, the “midwife” offered Mary the choice of a quick death to relieve her of the painful, uncontrollable bleeding that would certainly result in her eventual death, or a new life that would free her of human pain and enslavement.  Several centuries later, Mary owned a high-end bar that offered Bottle Service to VIPs, a complicated but extremely profitable service, given the special appetites of her VIP clientele.

Few of the ordinary patrons who sailed through the bar could afford Bottle Service–contrary to the myths, most supernatural beings these days struggled to make ends meet by working like the humans–but there were a few who had not been around long enough to know of Mary’s wrath who deemed themselves cocky enough to attempt to run a scam, i.e., get Bottle Service and skip out on the bill.  Such was the entourage of new vamps in the corner, loud enough to partially drown out the techno music pumping through the bar.  Some of them were too young to even have the knowledge of comparing vampire powers.  Had even one of them known the full extent of Mary’s power none of them would be destined to be tied to each other with heavy silver chain links, prone, and in a pile like logs to be set afire in the venue’s basement.

Mary would soon have a nice talk with the Nephilim brothers, because they were either clearly off their game tonight, or she had two very strong creatures who were in on the scam.  Either possibility brought dread and not a little bit of irritation to Mary, as she stared at the quivering set of baby vampires in the corner.

This was not going to be a good night.

“Incursio” #6 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days) by Cherie Ann Turpin

Incursio #6 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days) by Cherie Ann Turpin

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My tabby cat Munchkin first noticed the strange lights in my pool late last night after spectacular meteor shower that lit up the sky. I thought the meteor shower was lightning at first, until I walked outside and peered up from my deck in the backyard. The clouds partially covered the flashes of light, but no thunder occurred. Munchkin scurried inside and ran under the kitchen table, her tail quivering. I leaned over the wooden rail and glanced at the sparkling night sky, slowly dragging a curl of smoke from my cigarette. The air was thick and humid, and the wind flowed on my skin like a moist pillow.

An unnatural stirring of the heavenly realm was afoot.

I finished my cigarette and walked into the house, sealing shut the sliding glass doors and pulling together the white curtains. The outdoor lights were left on, casting shadows on the pool below. I motioned to Munchkin as I walked down the hallway towards my bedroom, and she jumped up into my outstretched arms, purring away like a perpetual motor buried in fur. As I kicked off my slippers and sat down on the bed she curled up at the edge of the bed, her favorite spot. Clicking off the light, I finally fell into a deep sleep.

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After what seemed to be hours, I was awakened by a strange howl and hiss. Munchkin paced around the room, visibly disturbed. I looked at the clock on my cell phone: 3 A.M. What the fuck, I thought. I threw on a night robe and stuffed my feet into my slippers, then followed my shaken cat towards the sliding doors and pulled back the curtains. The outdoor lights were still on, and the sky looked, well, odd. Yellowish, like phlegm. I’d never seen clouds like that, but weather wasn’t exactly normal, lately. I noticed Munchkin staring and hissing at something and peered out towards the pool. It seemed to be glowing with lights like that same phlegmatic yellow. The water seemed to churn with an urgency to boil.

I carefully backed away from the glass doors and ran into the bedroom, leaving the lights off. I quickly dressed, and grabbed my purse, cell phone, and laptop bag. My cat looked at me, quietly pleading. I pulled her up and placed her into the opening of my purse and rushed outside to my car. As I pulled away from the house I noticed some people who had wandered outside to stare at the sky, while others were busy packing a few belongings and their children into their cars.

The invasion had begun.

“Uporzyna’s First Feed (A Phorzhicoa Collective Story)” #5 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days) by Cherie Ann Turpin

“Uporzyna’s First Feed (A Phorzhicoa Collective Story)” #5
(Thirty Stories in Thirty Days)

by Cherie Ann Turpin

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At 22 Uporzyna’s transition into full feeder took place under the careful guidance of her guide Onaryani, who took her to a local coffee shop three blocks from their Phorzhicoan group house.

“Animal Crackers” served up coffee, pastries, bread, and homemade soup to their customers, mostly college students and faculty from the nearby private college.  Well-worn easy chairs, couches, and low tables, along with wi-fi access kept a series of regulars settling in with laptops and tablets while drinking strong coffee.  Finding a pair of easy chairs and a clear table near the rear of the shop, Onaryani and Uporzyna blended well with the lunchtime crowd.  As Onaryani raised his ceramic cup of molasses and hazelnut coffee, he gave the slightest of nods to Uporzyna, who pulled a book from her over-sized bag on the floor, flipped to a random portion, and stared at the words on the page.

As the typescript melted from her view, the room itself became transparent like cloudy water, and time itself slowed.  With the exception of Onaryani, who continued to observe her, every human in the room seemed to radiate with streams of light that spontaneously spurted from various parts of their bodies.  Sound accompanied these streams, and Uporzyna understood some streams as conversation and others as thoughts.  Erotic thoughts “smelled” sweet and heavy, as did erotic-themed conversational exchanges.  Many other emotions and impulses promised to be tasty as well, but she felt drawn to the complexity of Eros as a sustenance suitable for her hunger, so she directed her Phorzhicoan gaze to the strongest streams flowing out, a couple near the window drinking coffee and eating coffee cake.  Her first feeding would be a memorable one.

As she returned to shared consciousness, she slowly raised her head to find her guide watching her with an approving smile.  Soon, she would do well on her own as a hunter, and in less than a year she would seek a life companion to share those endorphins and passions absorbed into her essence.

“the devil made me do it” by Cherie Ann Turpin #4 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days)

“the devil made me do it”

by Cherie Ann Turpin

#4  (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days)

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“The devil made me do it,” Gavin said, staring at Lil with that sick grin, his eyes burning with a certain satisfaction.  A short, thin blade covered in red flame pierced the night air as it propelled towards her chest like lightning.

Typical.  Gavin loved to brag.

It was and still is a common excuse given by many who commit acts of violence against another to blame the devil.  Such claims are occasionally written with fingers dipped in blood and other fluids still warm and steaming.  The devil, indeed.

In Gavin’s case, he was speaking the truth.  No horned man or Baphomet-like figure spoke to him.  No, this manifestation of evil was the true fallen angel who came to him as a result of an elaborate summoning with all the requisite ceremony Gavin was known to employ when engaging in invocation.  In short, Gavin opened himself to true evil in order to bargain freely and for that he would gain the unholy power and wealth to which he believed himself to be entitled.

Or so he assumed when he agreed to bargain away his soul.  Gavin was on an assignment, the kind of assignment that would, upon completion, see the majority of her blood supply pool around her body.  There were other women who would share the same fate if Gavin succeeded in his task of murdering her.  Lil already knew of this assignment, as well as the likely trajectory of his path long before this moment.

Lil rejected this same offer given to her by this entity, and she did so knowing that she would become a target for the next soul weak enough to fall.  It was a vulnerability common to spirit warriors who worked with the dead.  It was common enough occurrence for seasoned warriors like Lil to expect confrontations from the fallen one through weak vessels like Gavin, who lusted for power and glory at the expense of those humans he previously pledged to serve.  His greed blinded him to the pitfalls of trusting an entity who had not warned him about Lil’s secret gift.

Lil shook her head with disappointment in her former pupil as she warded off his attack with her right hand, flattening and rendering the dagger into dark space before her.  Raising and pushing both hands towards Gavin, she pushed him and the air around him in that same dark space, the dry, hollowed space of the Entrapped, a prison of sorts filled with perpetual longing for the water of life for the unfortunate wretch who attempted to do mortal harm to the one who possessed the power of Shadow Entrapment.  Until this moment, Gavin had no knowledge of Lil’s full talent as a spirit warrior.

Unlike Gavin, Lil avoided telling everyone specifics about her gifts.