Title art by LH Grey

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The Prodigy “Firestarter”

I could never forget those eyes of hers
for as long as I shall live they will be with me
every time I lay down to sleep
these blackened hunks of coal apprehend me
it would send me insane
were it not for the fact that I’d be supplying her free rein
Have done that once already and have no wish to go back there again

My memories of the orphanage aren’t all bad
Indeed I have numerous fond recollections of my time as St. Augustus and was well liked by most of the other girls
with a couple of unnotable exceptions
certain life lessons I learned have served me right up to this day
as the one thing it forced was direction

walk this way
chin up
speak up
look down
always conduct oneself in a ladylike manner
oh and
turn a blind eye or two

by the time they were through
I knew precisely how to mask my contempt
how to smile and not mean it
but not however

– how not to feel like there were cold callous hands on my soul – smothering it – bludgeoning each orb of light as it passes – glances – traumatic – episodic – paper planes ablaze – embryonic contusion – each chronic transfusion – lorded over by vitriolic illusion – guillotines gawking – crowd restless – their breathless delusions – my imminent execution – chop chop – one more for the block – rough hands – pinning me down – stripping me from the waist down – ensuring I remain face down – as they spread my legs wide open – and fuck out my light – for the darkest goodnight –

Oh, heavens
I’m sorry
Alas, I do know what got into me
what has been within
for many years now
I guess it’s a little like a parasitic leech
which latches on and catches on
holds on tight


frantically baroque
lavish panic
as my passenger bores
this industrious spore
was planted by Her
She who I have cared not to declare
until now

no names
as i dare not repeat it
or so much as think it
all I have now is this dusty old trinket

So what do you think?
Doesn’t look too iniquitous, does it?


Do not think she will not stain your mouth red with your blood, leaving only ashes in your wake

Once again, my sincere apologies
and once again, I know precisely what came over me
actually that’s inaccurate
She came over me
As a matter of fact,
She was already beneath my skin
tucked right in
or at least
She placed it there
nothing tender or loving about her care
when you’re the only one receiving it
the only one perceiving it
this “blessing” of mine
enabled me to see her true form
and let’s just say,
it wasn’t godly in the slightest
quite the opposite, in fact

One night,
I felt particularly courageous
so followed her back to her bedchamber
watched her through the crack in her door
had been doing so for around a minute when she broke the silence

“you think I don’t see you, but I do”

I believe that was the moment it latched on
the blackness
I’d had my concerns
all of which were most grave
for some time
and she had just confirmed the very gravest
that she had burned
at the stake
no flowers
no wake
just the decree of the Gods brandished by idiotic men
in the clothing of wolves
and the company of fools

As you would imagine, this was a most disheartening turn of events
and I scurried back to my quarters
parasite now attached
although I knew not where on my body
at least,
not until I closed my eyes
and there it was
siphoning the matter from my cranial crust through row upon row of grubby second-hand needles
I could taste her evil on my lips the very second I woke
in a cold sweat, needless to say

But would you like to know what chills my bones most?
That she never once raised her voice to me
never once a hand
never scalded my wrists with hot running water
never flogged my bare knees with a cane
in fact, her actions were rather restrained
nonchalant you might say
nothing personal
and had it been, then perhaps I wouldn’t be sat here now with cold steel nestled beneath my jugular and set to take the plunge
at least I would have had a reason
Instead I know not of my treason

It’s over twenty years since I last saw her
but not a day has passed when I haven’t seen her

I can feel her beady eyes on me as we speak
her cold hands gripping my bloody heart
her blade slicing through my windpipe
cleaving it wide open
infernally Devout





and within these blackened hunks of coal

are my ashes

Richard Charles Stevens

Keeper of The Crimson Quill

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    1. Oh, leviathan is such a glorious word. Thank you so much for every beautiful comment. We love the way you throw yourself into every last piece and always take something personal from them. So precious.

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