For almost six years now I have been a scribe and one of the things I pride myself most on is the fact that I don’t resort to writing reactionary prose. Should something have upset me, then I may have spoken my piece in my own way previously but never with the intention of singling out the party in question publicly. That is, until now. Some of you may have noticed certain spiteful verses being posted on Rivers of Grue over the past few days by yours truly and I would like to reassure our beloved Twitter family that I have nothing but adoration for each and every last one of you. I am as straight up as they bloody well come, no hidden agenda or veiled contempt, just a whole lot of love for those who have seen me through the most challenging period of my life. Even if we haven’t always seen eye to eye, rest assured that I know your souls and only ever wish the best for you. All of you. Period.

Now Instagram on the other hand, well let’s just say that my experience there has been far less worthy of plaudits. Indeed, I have gone as far as to refer to this platform as the “Poison Palace”. The reason for this is simple. Upon creating a long since deactivated account last Fall, things appeared to be going decidedly swimmingly. Through introduction from a dear friend of mine, I glanced deepest souls with the love of a lifetime and others besides. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as I had all but given up on life before the universe reminded me I wasn’t done yet. In December last year, and through a choice that was no longer destined to be my own, I said goodbye to my special boy, Jacob Nathaniel, and bowed out of his life for what appeared to be the final time. I was done and had no great burning desire to continue, having experienced over half a decade of being gradually written out of the narrative. Death was looming large and I knew precisely how to achieve this goal without being required to take the suicide route.

I know my body exceedingly well and have put it through sheer bloody hell over this period as secretly I just wished things over. That is until the all-change. Suddenly, my outlook began to brighten considerably. A select few souls in particular continued to see me through the month of Advent and I reached the new year with renewed sense of hope and a heart brimming adoration. Naturally, I was less inclined to love myself as, after so long self-loathing, yours truly can be a decidedly tough nut to crack. But I had survived my own personal Battle of Trafalgar. In celebration, my twin flame and I proclaimed 2018 to be the “Year of the Spartan” and, while recovery has been ongoing from winter through winter, I can now look into a mirror without wishing to face palm myself with a rough-sided sandpaper mitten each time I pass. Moreover, I have watched my love of loves take tremendous strides in her own personal battle and this delights me most of all.

However, not all has been rosy in the garden. You see, in March 2018, I happened across a decidedly serpentine young lady who I took an instant disliking to. The one thing I have learned to trust is my gut and said tummy stressed in terms most certain that “La Rosa Negra (Black Rose)”, as she refers to herself, was bitter to the seed. This self-proclaimed “Haunted Poetess” is precisely that. She is also part of a hateful breed known as Insta-Stalkers. Given that I wear my heart so openly, I became prime target for one who makes it her life work to identity that of beauty and purity, then make it rotten for her own vile amusement. Seeing me only as a pawn to conquer, she commenced a game of Chess unlike the kind where both parties shake hands on commencement and again at conclusion. I’m sure she’d prefer the term “masquerade” and this is precisely what has been playing out over the course of the last eight months, without my prior consent I hasten to add.

“La Rosa Negra” heralds from a veiled coven linked to her Instagram account and specialises in the dark arts, black magick to be precise. No doubt still pissed that she was burned at the stake before a crowd of embittered townsfolk 300 years back, this parasitic Dutch mannequin goes about her necromancy in a manner most despicable. Thus, she slinks through the shadows of her chosen battlefield, dripping poison into anything deemed of sacred descent. To achieve her results, she posts random short verses to her page each morning break and casts a potent spell over whomever she selects as her current plaything. To be fair, her wistful prose speaks a reasonably fair game. At least, upon primary perusal. However, it took less than no time for me to identify just what was missing from each maligned miniature – a soul.

Some of us veer towards the light. Others darkness. While I have become more than comfortable in the latter camp, my soul’s true allegiance will always be to the light. I keep friends close and enemies as far away as inhumanly possible as no part of me wishes to remain on constant DefCon 5, when I could be living the life of a docile lion, reclining in the shade with those cherished nuzzled into my fur. This psychic vampire has no place in daylight, that ship sailed the very moment she began draining lost and found souls of their rightful essence because it lends a sense of ownership. I’ve happened across many a control freak over the years but “La Rosa Negra” is the very most sinistrous spinster as she continues to bleed her subject dry until such time as she has taken her fill.

So about these toxic verses then. Using her poison pen, she meticulously crafts each address in a manner that allows her to mess with multiple heads all at once. Being a stalker by nature, she gets to know her victim by way of learning their social pattern, interests, and any information whatsoever that she can use to twist the blade in their guts. Fully aware of my vulnerable state through the bleak midwinter, she began to prey on my very worst fear – losing that which should never ever be surrendered. Pure love. All that I ultimately am. Anyone familiar with my work will be aware that I write in a multi-layered fashion and leave breadcrumbs for all those who choose to read between the lines. Not once are these placed to needle the reader, merely educate myself and all those I hold dear on my personal findings over the course of ongoing recovery in generalized fashion. It’s ultimately one big cherry picking expedition.

The “Haunted Poetess”, on the other hand, yields a far more spoiled harvest. Any seeds sown are planted with the cruelest of intention, designed to make the reader second think both themselves and others around them who matter. Regrettably for she, I’ve come across her type on two separate occasions previously, one of whom preyed on my vulnerable state to take me for nine grand of my divorce settlement, while the other drove a stake through the near flawless heart of my second marriage. I know how this works. Can crack me a code like John Nash on uppers and my beautiful mind is similarly adept at solving complex conundrums. The difference between us is that my experience with “La Rosa Negra” is no paranoid delusion. It’s right there in double dutch, spread far and wide across her decrepit journal pages.

There is only a certain amount a good man is prepared to take. Then it’s time to protect himself, those he adores, and provide clear and concise warning to any others being drained the same way. Come too far now to let a hateful trollop like this one write my prologue or that of those adored by I, at a similarly critical stage in their recovery. “The Haunted Poetess” can therefore feel free to remain on her current course and continue addressing through soulless riddle. I, on the other hand, will be saying shit just as I’m seeing it. Lion heart on lapel and bleeding profusely for the cause of truth. Not so that others can fight my battles for me, that’s not what this is about in the slightest and you will find no links here to her account. Simply because I am honest, true, and have had quite enough of being toyed with by one so utterly calculating.

Granted, I’ve pulled no punches with each subsequent verse of my recent “Crime Scene Clean-up” sequence, but this has merely been expression through art and working through any heightened emotion. This address, however, possesses no layers. And I ultimately wish her no grievous harm as the universe has me covered with regards to my own karma, don’t you worry. Instead, this is actually intended to encourage the person in question to use her voice in a manner non-destructive to those she deems fair game. This is my choice speaking and wish it to be known that it is none but my voice speaking. Awaken from your perpetual phantasm, Poetess, and cease haunting the dreamscapes of others. Find one thing true and not through the guise of deception. Or else, thine shalt remain evermore Amsterdamned.




Richard Charles Stevens


Grey-Chapel Path



1 Comment

  1. To “provide clear and concise warning to any others being drained the same way”. This is an excellent piece many people who are being bullied will relate to. Or victims of hate. Hate from blackened hearts. And we’re Kingdom Hearts, who will forever defeat the heartless.
    Sharing your journey will strike a chord with many people too. All of this proves how brave a Lion can be. Head held high above the snapping skanky hyenas.

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