The Collector

Seven-sentence short story.

She collected breath like dream catchers collected nightmares. Creeping into your house at night, crawling in through open windows, picking locks when doors were closed, she’d capture your breath in a jar. Sealing the jar against your mouth, she’d watch wide-eyed as your face scrunched, struggling against the glass pinned to your face.She’d been doing this for years and no longer feared waking anyone up; the jar always fogged up with your breath faster than you could be pulled from sleep. She’d snatch it away and hold it close to her chest, twisting the lid on tight to keep your exhale in and be off to the next house to gather more, and she always needed more.

She knew these breaths were the key to everlasting life and she was investing in her future.


Describe how it tastes

I’ve been lazy with my writing. For a while I was justifying my non-writing behaviour with the fact that I got a new job and had to move provinces. Then I was doing freelance work and I just didn’t have time (although my Netflix playlist will tell a different tale). I just kept coming up with excuses, and yeah, I’ve been busy and life has been chaotic, but is that ever going to change? Probably not. There are always going to be reasons to not write.
And so, I have been sitting down for at least ten minutes every day, and writing from a prompt.

I thought I’d share one with you.

This prompt directed me to look at an object and describe how it tastes. I’m not the greatest at following directions, as you will soon read:

I love food – food of all kinds. Most people identify with preferences for either sweet or salty, but I identify with edible. If it’s edible, I want it.

It’s rare to find something I don’t like the taste of. I will stop eating some foods based on other factors. For example, after an extended period of time of eating the same thing, I will eventually hit a wall, like the egg wall. There is nothing worse than the egg wall and it usually extends to chicken and fish. The poultry-fish wall. Just stop and visualize that for a second, the hitting of a fish and poultry wall.

Unfortunately, there is no chip or candy wall. I could eat from both of those food groups until I became one of them. People would stop inviting me over. It’s undesirable, my crumbly, oily chip self, leaving grease spots on the fabric of the couch in your living room. You’d find chip crumbs in your bed if you had me as an overnight guest.

I’m not interested in describing the taste of food. Who cares what it tastes like? Just give me more of it.

I’ll even eat paper. I think that’s what my appreciation for the smell of books is all about. A used bookstore to me is like a roast in the oven. Words spilling over like meat juices in a pan, saturating my brain. Oh, the words taste like a salty broth, dribbling out the corners of my mouth and onto mashed potato pages.

After writing all of that gold…I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t stop writing altogether. 

What we leave behind


The abandoned market is a community of empty buildings: Paint-peeling, boarded up and decaying. Their cracked exteriors stand defiantly against the ravages of time.

The insides are gutted. Unstable floors hold onto what’s been left behind by the ghosts that passed through in earlier, happier years. They grip tight with tenacious hooks and refuse to let go.

Reverberating among the hollowed out shells of a petting zoo, photo booth and market stalls, are the echoes of children laughing and people haggling over the price of eggs. Their presence casts shadows, chilling those that visit this lonely space.

While some turn away from this place in fear, for others it is a haven. It is where the lost souls seek shelter and where the wild things gather.

I am creature.

I am creature; aspects of wildness are bound in my form.

I am owl; alive at night, watching and waiting for all things distant, unable to see what’s directly in front of me.
I am falcon; targeting what I want, I dive down after it. I become a whirlwind of primal hunger until I slam directly into it, destroying it with my intensity.
I am wolf; I am alpha-female, dominant, confident, strong. I howl my presence, my tone a single, sure, and steady note.
I am human; I am changeable, adaptable, unpredictable, indecisive. I am calm, steadfast, loyal, certain.

I am creature.

Old work, re-worked

As promised, I revamped the little blurb in my last blog post. But, I just did it now and am not editing it before posting. So, I guess it’s still a first draft.

Crashing through the forest, his hooves pounded hard on the ground, the noise echoing through the trees like thunder. Animals nearby scattered away from him. Occasionally he’d shake his head as branches, witches beard and twigs caught in his horns, which only served to tangle them further. Brushing at them in irritation he managed to keep them out of his eyes, but he carried on hurriedly; the minotaur had an appointment to keep and being late wouldn’t be acceptable to the Jubokko. Even in the humid heat that served to cover him in layers of sweat, the thought of the Jubokko’s wrath made him shiver.

Of course, it was known that the tree lived on the blood of those that died. As their blood seeps into the earth, the tree drinks deeply, its roots soaking in the last droplets of life of the dead men and women.  If you sat long enough during its feeding, you’d be able to see the tree grow, and although the tree was taller, looked younger. But, you didn’t want to be around watching it. The dead around it wouldn’t satisfy its hunger and it would capture anyone around to feed on. The minotaur had heard a story years ago about how a young man, mad with grief over the death of his brother, tried to cut the tree down. The tree wrapped its branches around the man, tightening until his bones broke and the jagged ends pushed through his skin, drawing blood. The tree continued to crush the man, absorbing all of his blood until there was none left, then it dropped him to the ground. The minotaur shuddered at the thought of such a violent death. Not wanting to test the Jubokko’s patience, he picked up his speed.

He slowed when he reached a clearing; the Jubokko tree stood tall in the centre encircled by a collection of seven flat-topped rocks. Perfect to sit on, both for comfort and protection. The minotaur didn’t think the tree could draw blood through the stone. He looked around in wariness but didn’t see or smell anyone else nearby. Sighing with relief that he wasn’t the last to arrive, he stepped forward and slowly plucked the remaining branches and moss off of his horns. He picked a rock and took a seat.

Soon he heard more rustling in the forest and watched as different creatures pushed through, all looking as sweaty and harried as he felt. A chimera was the first to come through the forest, followed by a cyclops. Next, a burst of fire signaled the arrival of the phoenix. The minotaur smelled the troll before he saw him and exhaled in relief when he saw it take a seat on the rock furthest away from him. A kitsune darted out and jumped onto the rock next to him. The forest stilled and each rock now had an occupant, with the exception of one.  The minotaur wondered where the banshee was when he heard her shrieking bouncing off the trees in the forest behind him. His irritation at the noise was quickly replaced with fear when he saw the Jubokko’s branches extend into the forest in the direction of her howls. Her shrieking changed to the most unnerving scream the minotaur had ever heard, followed by the crunching of bones and then silence. The tree grew a bit and the minotaur knew it had fed on her.

A face appeared in the bark of the tree and the minotaur swallowed hard. The meeting had begun.