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“The Hex Doll” by Rose J. Fairchild

I have lived one long life and died a thousand deaths; been tortured more times than I would care to count. But not alone. There is always someone else along for the ride. Someone I hold captive inside me, and the true target of the savagery.

My skin is scored with so many scars, it loosely resembles burlap. My mouth has been slashed wide and stitched totally shut, my heart and eyes gouged out only to return later. The creativity born from people’s hatred is boundless and I am forever amazed at their viciousness. 

Our most recent customer has brought me hair from her intended victim. My assistant, Skyla, offers them to me and I use my tongue to roll it into a ball before swallowing it with a generous helping of wine.

The man’s DNA begins running through my veins and I feel myself changing as his essence is pulled into me. As he is absorbed into my flesh and we become one. 

I see the eager look on the woman’s face as she raises her blade skyward–the frantic look of fresh hurt written all over her face. I wonder what he has done to her, but I never ask.

As she plunges the blade downward, I leave the man on the stone surface my body lies on, feeling his terror as I hold him prisoner. I dive into my sacred space and feel myself scream with him, though I only vaguely register the pain. It is just part of the ritual of channeling his flesh through my own.

Long ago I had to find a way to escape the bloodletting lest I go mad with the agony of both blade and emotion. This escape is the only way I manage it.

Broken and bleeding, I feel the man’s consciousness slip away and know the woman has finished him off. I let him go and return to myself.

Somewhere in the world, a dead man lies slashed and bleeding, no evidence of the killer left behind.

I hear the woman’s whispered words of thanks and the soft sounds as she weeps her way out of our temple. I know not whether they are tears of joy, relief, sorrow, anger, or even guilt. It does not matter. The job is done.

Weakened, I raise my eyes gratefully to Skyla as she pours healing elixir slowly into my mouth and over my tongue. As it rolls down my throat, I pull her to me and taste her lips. She is the tether that keeps me sane, the single point of light in the world of hatred and pain I live through every day.

She breathes deeply, fingers gently caressing my broken flesh as if instead of a battered canvas, I were a beautiful masterpiece, and I know that there is hope for the world–that love truly can exist alongside so much hate.

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“Too Much” by Rose J Fairchild

Too Much: A Glimpse into Emily’s World

I wrote this earlier this morning as I pondered my daughter, Emily, and how she sees the world. I am blessed to have her as my daughter and though I don’t always understand, you are infinitely precious to me, my sweet. ❤

Too loud! So you raise your own voice or turn the TV up to drown out the cacophony of sound from a too-scary world that is only evident to you.

Too bright! When morning light reaches you, it burns your eyes painfully in a way mine will never know.

Too dark! The loss of that light is just as jarring, and you turn on every light you can to light the way.

Too smelly! To me, it’s barely noticeable. But to you, it’s like standing in a landfill surrounded by a sea of detritus.

Too tight! It’s just a short-sleeved t-shirt, but to you, it strangles the life out of that spot on your arm where the sleeve sits. Or maybe it’s the shorts that are threatening to slice through your thigh even though to me, they seem to fit you perfectly. 

It hurts! The material might seem minutely scratchy to me (jeans in particular), but you might as well be wearing an outfit of stinging nettles. You scream, claw, and pull at it until it is finally removed. 

This is disgusting! Remember how smell affected you so strongly? Well, taste does too. And sometimes, when I make something and hope you’ll love it, it hurts to get that response. But I am learning and beginning to understand.

Too much! There is so much that is too much in your world. A world that to me seems so tiny, but to you is so huge and overwhelming. Sometimes I think this is why you’re so possessive of “your” things…it grounds you and is something that belongs to you—it’s something you have control over. And to share that, relinquish it…it hurts you and drives you into a panic. You still need to learn to share, but I can go about encouraging it more gently and easily than I have.

“She’s just being dramatic.” Except you’re not. It seems that way, sure. But this has been consistent since babyhood. You have a sensory processing disorder and will (hopefully) one day learn to handle it, or that it will ease for you so that you can find bliss in this world of madness. 

Helpful things: First and foremost, animals. You have always been comforted by and madly in love with animals of all kinds—even the creepy crawlies that most people tell you to kill. But you won’t because you know they are a life, too, and that they deserve to live. Cats have always been your favorite though, and I can’t see that ever changing. 

Also, swimming. You love water and when Gramela asked you why you love it so much you said, “I just like the way it moves around me.” It cradles you and takes the weight of the world away so you can feel weightless and free for a short time. 

Space to work through a meltdown. A safe space where you can just feel what you’re feeling and not be judged for it. If I try to touch you or talk to you, you fight and it only gets worse. But when you are done, I will be there to hold and love you for every little bit of fierceness and sensitivity in you.

Love. For you to know I will love you no matter what. That I will always try to understand even when I fail. I will do better in future. I am sorry for all the times I didn’t understand…all the times I failed you. But I will always try to do better. I will always love and support you. And I will defend you with a ferocity that will shake this scary world. 

You can always come to me. And I hope that you will. I love you, Emily. You are beautiful just the way you are.

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Grappling

Trying to come to terms with what’s happening to my Gramma.

Some things in life are just hard to deal with and the best way some of us find to sort it all out is through art. I normally gravitate toward writing, but today I needed to draw. I haven’t drawn in ages and I hate that it’s for something so unhappy. And yet, it was still soothing to me. The drawing is rough (lack of practice and kids afoot), and not happy, but I’m sharing it anyway. I hope all you Spriggans and Sprites have a day full of love and light. 💕

Poetry

A “Free Verse”: To My Husband

You are the most real thing in my life.

My touchstone, enabling me to ground myself;

The lodestone that calls me back every time.

When I fly, you are with me–

You smile and urge me on.

When I fall, you allow me to,

But not without waiting for me

With your arms outstretched.

I know you will catch me when I’m ready.

Continue reading “A “Free Verse”: To My Husband”