Friday, 23 August 2013


A heavy breath expelled a fine mist into the air, the only movement in an otherwise still captured moment and though I failed to see its fogging coil branching outwards and upwards, the sound of its making seemed to draw me from my melancholy.

A sigh. Such a little thing really but just one could hold the weight of the world within its almost lamenting respire.  Whereas a sigh could sound a brief annoyance in impatient huff so more often did my own betray a deeper reminisce; a longing, a yearning, almost a groan of things lost in near sorrowful regret. Still in one way it was cathartic, willing the lingering emotion outwards amidst my expelled cold breath and allowing the present to reassert itself in my focus. 

My head lifted, shoulder aching from my half slumped position and angled upwards to that splutter of electric light cast feebly into the sleeping shadows of the spot atop the hill. The same spot I’d sat and pondered many a thing, many a time.

“A thousand times…” Like a whisper from the void the feminine hushing voice sounded upon the crisp air, coiling seductively to hold that leash between the worlds of dreaming and waking. I could almost believe she was there, close behind the trees but just out of reach. I pushed myself to sit, head hung forward a moment and I waited, waited for the first rumblings of consequence to creep up on me. 

It began at the back of my head, like a gradual pressure applied to the nape of my neck then spreading outwards in all directions like a swarm of spiders. Within moments the ache had fully encased from the shoulders upwards, most intense at the temples making me flinch at the sudden sounding of a train horn blaring as it raced past a crossing somewhere in the distance. It may as well have thundered past right before me.

I groaned and almost succumbed to the preference of slumping back down to a horizontal position upon my trusty bench but determined I sat still, palms placed steadily either side of me, swaying slightly from side to side as expected accompanying nausea swirled within my stomach. It was always the same, no matter the variations of my experimented drinking. This test may have indeed stolen my pain amidst near comatose hallucination but was making up for it now.

The rocking motion eventually built the inertia to push myself to stand, muscles in my forearms protesting through lead-weight sluggishness. Rising to stand straight reluctantly I stumbled slightly with the sensation of spinning though managed to steady my balance. Sucking in deep breath I pursed parched lips, head angling to one side as my sixth sense attuned. In the distance boots clip-clopped upon pavement, moving in quickening pace to maintain speed up the hillside. I knew she was coming before the sound was audible.

“Bad night?” Shiloh’s voice called in question followed by a sigh that I imagined might billow a fog of frosty breath as she spoke. Her footsteps grew louder then shuffled to a pause beside me. I gave a slow heavy nod “Momentary release that as ever comes back to haunt me” I replied with sigh of my own. 

I felt her hand upon my arm “Yes, yes” she murmured tugging gently until I began to turn her way. There was a pause, rustle of paper and clink of glass as she gathered the remaining bottles. The empty and discarded remained, sound of her boot giving a small huffed frustrated kick against it chiming a hollow rolling sound as it was sent off down the gravel path. I perceived her glare after it, focussed dismissal of that which had failed her mentor. It was such a small thing yet it made me smile.

“Let’s get you home.”


© Rachel Ellen, 2012


“I would have you kiss me a thousand times”

Her voice was bewitching even in its innocence. Taking deep inhale of orchid scented breath I reached, extending my fingers slowly in anticipation of that smooth silky skin. When found, it was warm, supple and inviting. Index finger touched first at her chin, feeling her head tip up a little in response it drew my touch closer, begging palm to be smoothed along in a curling motion, cupping her cheek where thumb could grace back and forth in a gentle stroke of cheekbone. I could feel her eyes on me, prolonged silence that all the while spoke of need and encouragement. Simmering desire that had her lips fall to quiet.

I chuckled for her silence and dropped down carefully to my knees before her upon the fur. Fingers felt alive with electricity as was about the anticipation as much as desire for the goal. " of a thousand" I murmured though couldn't help but offer a roguish if sincere smile as smoothed fingers back from her chin, gliding across her throat and downward, just the briefest hint of a rounded breast felt before snaked hand beneath her arm and shoulder, gliding to her back to draw closed that last few inches of space between us. Hand continued upwards along her spine embracing her against me and finally slowing at nape of her neck. Meanwhile my nose touched lightly against side of her own, feeling my way before I discovered her lips and pressed slowly against them to appreciate their fullness. Their slightly sweet taste was enjoyed as I parted them briefly only to press back again, almost feeling her out rather than going in all over confident and pressurising. I’d learned that care and patience was a golden technique when it came to evoking lust in a less than wanton woman.

I’d had little doubt she would return my affection, how many years had this building tension been stoked and skirted around? So near yet so far, carefully easing my way into her thoughts and her longings though somewhere along the line my attitude had changed. It was something I had not anticipated until it was too late. This may seem like a game but yet if honest with myself it was real for me too. 

In normal circumstances, with usual appetites to sate, the energy would have poured by now. Though appearances of a patient lover I would have made, what I demanded would already have begun. Stirred lusts swirling about in hazy clouds to bask in and absorb through pores of demanding demonic flesh. Only to gorge further with the succumbing to throes of carnal delight that was always inevitable. And yet I was compelled to treat her well, treat her respectfully. In truth I feared to push too far, push her to a place where she may perceive me as merely a hunter, an 'arouser' and a taker of sin. For others that is all I was, even if they did not recognise until too late. For her I wished to me so much more.

Soft-sounded feminine moan had me hold back a kind of shudder. There was nothing like hearing a woman in such a way. I touched my forehead against hers a moment whilst taking a breath then drew hand from hers up to hold her cheek gently and leaned back in, lips tingling with that first touch and smoothed back again now pressing more deeply, coaxing her lips to part with gentle pressurising tongue. Her lips parted like a budding flower, I could feel her melting against my chest her heart all a flurry, like a wall of long defiance finally gave way. So many knocks yet in the end a careful gentle push sent it toppling down. Tentative lick, gentle probing; I stayed my patience, savouring her exploration.

A minute passed, maybe two. Lips smoothed and rolled against the others though within us both I could feel a welling storm. Rising up on my knees a little, fingers behind her head stretched upwards into the coiled and plaited style of soft tresses, a kind of gentle massaging against her scalp, though strong arms swept her forward like a coveted doll into my lap as pressed deeper yet with my offered kiss. Taste of her tongue had me crave to demand more as fell into more rhythmic caress, breaking for breath only to tilt head in desire for more. I held my breath as allowed her to savour the sensation then gradually pulled back, lowering head to kiss against her throat, once, twice, three gentle presses before lifting covered gaze with a gulp of air and smiling with a kind of soft smirk. She’d finally opened the gates a crack but I sensed the lock was broken. Still as I blindly reached to push few strands of hair back from her face she had no idea how enraptured I was.

I recalled this all. In Every tiny detail as if I were there and not watching from afar as with most dreams. It was hallucination but remembered truth and there slumped upon bench under buzzing lamp post I swooned and wrapped my arms against the void of absent imaginings, only to wake with a sense of loss and of yearning.


© Rachel Ellen, 2012


The breeze whistled. Whispering at my ears as I stepped out to the frosty evening air it carried sound and scent to fill in the blanks of sight. Far off sirens wailed, grumbling of motor engines revved impatiently in traffic, the murmurs of a thousand separate conversations all jumbled together sounding like a distant hum. The groaning presence of a city full of chaos and life just around the corner, waiting at the end of a quiet street…never sleeping.

Against the winter chill I pulled my coat tighter, bunching fabric at my throat, scarf tucked tight its end billowed out behind me as slowly I stepped, cautious and careful for the ice was thick. Hands stuffed down deep into my pockets, turning coin between fingertips as I counted my paces, one revolution for every step. One hundred forty two times the coin turned, guiding me to turn to my left and continue on, chin lifted, head swaying subtly back and forth as fabric swathed gaze watched the lights play all about me. There was no need of white sticks or guiding arms. I was not going far today. A further forty five steps and my hand extended for familiar railing, turning to climb seven steps and push against frosty glass door, small bell jingling overhead to announce my arrival. 

The entrance hall held a unique gathering of scents, a swirling of fresh tobacco smoke tempered with a hint of older, staler air beneath that was laced with traces of various liquors and the unmistakable sour lacing of sweat. As usual the building was considerably warmer than outside. 

Moving to where I knew open doorway to stand I waited patiently, listening to the mix of familiar and unknown voices murmuring in conversation a little further down the hall. A few moments later footsteps padded along the carpet runner along with welcome sound of clinking glass inviting me to straighten and turn to greet with small incline of head. Before voice was spoken I knit my brow slightly, this presence was not whom I expected which meant my secondary reason for visiting in person would have to wait for another day.
“Wasn’t sure who’d be collecting this…guess you gave the girl a day off” came a slightly impatient gruff voice. “She’s usually here earlier, still never mind, you’re here now…” and hand was held for the exchange. I felt eyes peering at me even if unseen, sussing out the revealed identity of the perhaps enigmatic blind man. “I was warned you do come collect yourself sometimes.” 

I felt my brow relax from its furrow to rise over my blindfold. “Warned?” I repeated slowly with a low chuckle as held out small envelope toward the man. “What an interesting choice of word” I mused, tapping my finger against the offering as invited him to take it. The sound of clinking glass chimed again and I held free hand out to receive, crinkle of paper touching against my palm, weight of bottles held within bag which I took and held down at my side. The envelope was snatched away, sound of flicking notes as currency was counted and confirmed. I felt a smug smile glimmer in the man’s aura as he ignored my comment. 

“All’s fine here…will await your next order…usual method and discretion expected”
I gave single affirmative nod of my head and stepped back “Of course” Though it was likely to be Shiloh, occasionally I did make the effort for my own means. With trade made I saw no reason to linger and so turned and retraced my steps to the front door, further jingle of bell fan-fared my departure as I stepped into the cold, lifting chin and trailing hand down frost-clung railing as descended steps back onto the street. 

Rather than turn back to my original path I paused to listen for traffic before moving quickly across the street instead, treading familiar steps up a steep ally that climbed its way up a hillside and out to an open patch of grass, the start of an enclosed parkland, one of the few parts of the city not swallowed up by construction and building work. Save for the occasional dog barking and the fading laughter of teenagers passing through in their throng I deemed the area quiet and near empty as I made my way toward the bench that sat below solitary streetlight. Whilst I saw none of its artificial glow I could hear its electricity buzzing intermittently above me as I lowered to sit.  

A few hundred feet before me where the grass met the pavement the hillside rolled away, downwards into the distance and with it the snaking lines of terrace townhouses. It offered a break in the skyline for all that passed, leading those that turned that way back down into the heart of the city below. But I stayed where I sat, paper bag settled beside me with a rustle as I drew from within one of three glass bottles, each holding a dark syrupy liquid. 

Unscrewing foil cap I brought the bottle close to my chin, inhaling a scent that was sickly sweet and yet with an almost pungent undertone of something spicy, bitter perhaps like the strange aftertaste of crushed cloves. My nose wrinkled but as always I knew sometimes that the best affect held the least appealing taste and so took a tentative sip. I did not hold much optimism this would be any better than previous offerings in similar rustling paper bags though logic told me eventually, through elimination alone, I was deserving of drawing closer to the discovery of something that could ease my pain in way I had only ever known from one source before…one source that did not rely on such drastic measures.

It took a moment for the taste to take hold, at first only a sensation of slightly cooled liquid glugging past lips, moving stickily for its texture. As I tightened the cap back securely, my nose wrinkled as nasal and oral reaction kicked in together, clicking my tongue against roof of my mouth for the initial sweet tang followed swiftly by burning undertone. Nevertheless I swallowed it back with some effort, its heaviness requiring a few bitter tasting gulps of gathered saliva before could finally feel its potency ooze its way down. 

My fingertip trailed down from the bottle neck, determining label I would need Shiloh to read aloud to me later. My mind pondered upon the likely ingredients, what medicinal obscurities and illegal substances had been mixed in experimentation this time to try and appease my needs in return for copious amounts of cash.  I found, however, that my musing reached dead end rather quickly, the only surety thus far being that something within the concoction acted as a very strong sedative. Within moments my eyelids felt like dead weights and my limbs heavy with burden at any attempt to lift them. Perhaps this had not been such great idea to try before returning home. Or indeed before I was aware of the contents.

As my head hung forward slightly a passing dog walker gave me an odd look but said nothing as moved on with a tut and disapproving head shake.  I was oblivious to his judging as felt the world spin slowly upon a somewhat obscure axis, begging for the contented feeling of lying more horizontally. I was a slave to the calling, slipping away whilst marvelled at the sudden numbing behind the eyes, pain switched off like a light switch flicked. The alien sensation of comfort had me groan in bewildered bliss.  And thus I gave in to the sudden grasping demand to leave the mortal plane and slip altogether abruptly into a different realm entirely and all at the clearly underestimated power of a narcotic laced beverage. Such might need explaining upon my waking. 


©  Rachel Ellen, 2012

Windows to Souls

Somewhere in the distance a siren sounded, wailing into the night like an agitated animal, impatient and frenzied. It distracted me from my attempt to rest where I still sat slung back against the armchair as creeping shadows played about me with the darkening of the hour.
I resettled with head resting at an angle, exploring the bitter aftertaste in my mouth with probing tongue as mind drifted aimlessly, almost back to desired nothingness until the sound pierced into the stillness again. It was closer this time, louder and soon separated with an echo as another emergency truck perhaps came flying down the streets after the first. Somewhere down in the evening urban chaos was fate spinning some disaster or another. 

Fidgeting irritably in my seat I eventually pushed up to stand, striding to where the window lay. It was a floor to ceiling affair, bathing the room in an odd light reflected from those of the city beyond. Being so high in the block I was told rewarded magnificent views and I could not disagree even if my view was entirely different from that of others. I leaned against it, palm pressed and fingers splayed, caught in the allure of what could only be described as a theatre of light panning the horizon below.

The blanket of buildings below was lost to me as was every yard of tarmac and every curbed street corner. I saw neither flickering street lights nor zooming taxi cabs. No ten foot billboards with their plastered smiles and catchy slogans or any sparkly shop-fronts with their festive offerings and enticing displays. Instead of concrete high rises, winding traffic and gaping subway holes waiting to swallow up or spit out teeming commuter crowds, I saw only life. And oh how beautiful it was, enough to have me forget about all I was blind to. Touching my head against the cool glass I drank in the view.

Shiloh had asked me once what I saw when I looked down, curious as to how my special gifts translated such a spectrum of energy all at once. It had been hard to explain and I’d mused on it a while before speaking. It was like looking at a spark, I’d eventually explained, a spark of life erupting from a void of darkness where the emptiness suddenly became consumed by everything it wasn’t. Vivacious and vibrant as an array of different colours and experimental tones and hues of each and every one splashed theatrically across a stagnant bleak backdrop. From the fiery smouldering pinpoints of the frustrated and wrathful depicted in bright crimsons and dark tainted mauves to the fresher yet clinical mind frames of the cool peppermints and frosty corn blues, each soul emanated energy like an artist’s brush stoke upon canvas of darkest night.

Yet what made it truly a breath stealing sight was not just the burst of colours but their fluidity. The motion for the scene was never static, never still, never repetitive but always moving, always changing as the will and mood of every single soul below entwined and parted, meandered and morphed like a spectrum of animated snakes writhing in a tank, each as individual as a fingerprint. It could be at times hypnotic and though she’d nodded softly to my reply, an agreeable awed sigh lilting off her lips, I’d known Shiloh could never really have a true perception of what I witnessed every time I gazed down in my own way. To her it was just an inspired notion of an image; to me it was far, far more. 

For me it was not in the initial wonder of such an alternative insight but rather in the gradual noticed detail, the honing in upon one element of that overall spark, reading the story there to be told and knowing I would never look down upon the same view twice. A ‘Window to Souls’ she’d aptly named the glass I gazed through now. Simple yet true.

Sometimes it made me lonely, feeling I was apart from them all whilst standing at the glass, able to observe and to judge yet without an audience to witness and even with Shiloh’s occasional interest never anyone to validate what I saw or appreciate it as I did. When I did appreciate it of course. Other times it made me frantic, eager to feed, eager to steal and convert what I saw, so much going to waste every minute with them all so oblivious. Yet other times it drew me in, captivated as I watched the mood and sway of a city seep and swirl, projecting the mood of a populace when I focused upon the view as a whole. 

Still the sirens sounded, screeching in crescendo as what must be a major incident brought them chasing the pavements one after the other. Trailing my gaze back and forth I found I could pinpoint where likely tragedy had struck for out to the east side there swarmed fury of anger and panic-swollen richness to the scene, every moment its depth intensifying as news broke and crowds gathered, emotions stacking and running high. I witnessed such often and would make note to have Shiloh read from the early morning newspaper upon her return to satisfy my curiosity for the truth of the matter. 

A thought occurred to me as I squinted behind my blindfold, colours merging and blurring before glittering back into focus. What price would the mayor and his council pay to see what I saw? What insight I could give those that strove to understand? What sage perception I could offer? Pulling my chair closer to the glass I slowly sat back down, my arms extended along the arms as fingertips drummed accompanying beat to my contemplation. There were surveys, polls, statistics and speculation upon the mood of a populace yet how much worth was the word of one who could see the Truth laid out before him like a snapshot? And what if that one was gifted in more ways than one? “Interesting…” I murmured to myself and settled in to spend the witching hours observing the city like a god from his throne.


©  Rachel Ellen, 2012