They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ so I’ve decided to challenge a few of my friends to see if they can paint the reader a picture in just one thousand words. The subject of this picture? A single word. An emotionally charged word full of subjectivity, giving plenty of scope for my guests to get their creative writing juices flowing. After all, isn’t that our job as writers? To pull the audience into a scene, and connect to them emotionally, to let them share in the beauty of our world?
Last time we read the words of Paul Sating, writer of fantasy, horror, and thrillers. Some of his latest works include Birth of a Thief, Bitter Aries and the soon to be released The Horn of Taurus. This time around I have invited TC Grassman to share her thoughts on a single word.
The Word I have chosen for TC Grassman is…
the action of deceiving someone.
“obtaining property by deception”
Before we had language or education to know how letters formed words, Iluminare and Tenebrous came together and begot Capito; however, when the sun and moon came into orbit, they were forced to part—for night belongs to dark and day to light. Highlighting one or the other creates shade where Capito slips, slides, and slithers. Content to hide amongst the foliage—watching, waiting, wanting.
Prince, handsome in regal attire with sun-kissed hair and bright white teeth, admires Maiden, beautiful in peasant garb with midnight locks and rough-worked hands. They dance in the glen till Twilight descends and he tells her he’ll save her from a life of drudge. Believing him to be kind and courageous, for who else but the prince of France known for bravery, would dare traverse these haunted woods alone, kissed him as he asked and arranged to meet him again. For many days, weeks, months the two came together, light and dark, tangled and twined, living for their moments in the shadows, away from the bright rays.
Maiden full of love, compassion, and kindness waited for him.
In their glen.
Wondering when he would make her his wife.
News she had for him; he would surely find it as delightful as she. For their love transcended class and knew no bounds of earthly constraint. They would be parents with the eighth full moon. A child, always a blessing, would be welcomed by one and all—both peasant and noble alike.
Prince came and wouldn’t allow Maiden a chance to speak as he took his pleasures in greed and when done, he rose and made to ride off and leave Maiden to fare on her own. Maiden managed to grab hold the bridle of the white steed, who nipped her fingers for her trouble, and tell Prince of her joy and begged his happiness and plan for them now three.
The Prince, as handsome and dashing a prince ever was, with sunlit gold hair and a bright white smile, alas, was darkness itself. Selfish and rude, without a thought or care for anyone or anything beyond his own desires. Grabbed Maiden by the hand and thrust her away from his horse. He turned the steed and before he left, dropped coin at her feet and bid her farewell—
Dark to light and back again a cyclical form dictating our time—
You, a beggar on the street.
Dirty and forlorn.
Forgotten by any and seen by none—
The old woman with a toothless smile and a cackle to rival the meanest cur, holds in her hands the prize possession of her memory—still intact.
Rocking back and forth she hums and remembers a time of wealth and health of dancing and prancing round the bureaucracy of society. Happiness; a glam, sham, shell game of fame. And now she sways to the music in her head, remembering those things that made her happy in youth. With age comes wisdom but not to all and to all no wisdom comes at any age if fools behave—
A child it takes, to see the invisible and engage the toothless hag to converse. Stories get told to those willing to listen and lessons learned to those, adept at hearing that which is not spoken—
Silence enfolds us
Muffling our steps
Hushing our very breath
A silent companion
We move slower still
Till we stop and look round
At the nothing we found
At the edge of night
We begin our fright
Yet once fire roars
We roast s’mores—
Smoke and mirrors make an interesting image as the distorted becomes reality and the real mistaken for something else entirely. The dragon with its iridescent scales of blue, green and gold, takes its nap. Resting upon the treasure, guarding it with ferocity when called upon. What could it be, this treasure of thine that causes a dragon with fiery breath to guard so diligently? Gold, silver or jewels? Knowledge, wisdom or some other intangible great? A mate, offspring yet to be born—still in incubation? None of these. Sleep be thy treasure—
Stored up in the old attic, gathering dust, spiders weaving webs hither and yon, catching weak light from the dirty window. Letters inside boxes nestled within trunks. History written in real time, full of emotion of those gone before. What trials and tribulations did our ancestors go through—it all sounds too familiar as we do the same. What secrets and lies hide within the faded ink? How to discern truth amongst so many tales told. Where did the sun go, sitting here in this dusty, musty, moldering storeroom, entertaining ghosts who are all too real? I scream inside, as I read of traps that ensnared you, derailed you, tore your life apart—
What else do we have in common, besides having our babies ripped from our bosoms only to be sold into a life of slavery to the god of money? We were told falsehoods of what was, “done is done” and “tis best this way”.
It’s only right I die a slow death, here in the twilight, unable to breathe. As I lay my head upon the satin, I think of the wasted life I led. No good did I do, for “no good deed goes unpunished,” or so they say.
Living only for myself, greed—my go-to and guide in all things. Wealth I accumulated. Gold my love, beauty, and forever mate. No one could replace it. Come close to it. Could be it. For now, I lay my head, sleeping the day away. With darkness I rise and bask in the glory of night. Moon shines bright, giving me shade upon shadow in which to hide, slinking, sliding, slowly turning towards my prey.
I’ll bide my time, for I have eternity. I enthrall no one and everyone all at once. I draw you in, string you along, get you excited for the end—or is it?
A huge thank you TC for this beautiful piece, and her patience with regards to this project, you put Job to shame.
You can find more of TC Grassman’s musings over on her website so please take the time to check it out and share the love.
If you would like a little promotion here and fancy flexing your prose, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to see you here.